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Navigator group says, "We'll be ready"

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Maylin Candina completes her online navigator training modules in preparation for the opening of the health exchange on Oct. 1. Patricia Borns photo 

No sooner did the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida receive a $637,686 federal "navigator" grant to assist Flordians with enrolling in Obamacare healh plans, than an ominous letter arrived from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, demanding that it disclose to the committee all documentation and conversations related to its work -- this, with only weeks to staff and train for the Oct. 1 opening of the healthcare marketplace. 

Unphased, the Doral-based non-profit hired some 30 staff, all of whom completed the fed's online navigator training program. They got their background checks and were fingerprinted, as Florida law requires. With days to go, CEO Karen Egozi waited nervously to see if the state, which has been particularly strident against the presence of the federally funded Obamacare workers on its turf, would delay the letters of certification required for her staff to assist Miami-Dade residents. 

"We're celebrating," Egozi said late Tuesday afternoon, as the first letters of certification arrived. "We should have a nice group of navigators ready to assist on Oct. 1." 

In addition to its own navigators, the Foundation has partnered with the Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center and with Catalyst Miami, both of which will have navigatotors on their sites. 

For information or assistance enrolling in the healthcare marketplace, the foundation's toll-free number is 877-553-7453. 

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