New Brevard County health complex to help uninsured



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A new health complex serving Brevard County's under- and uninsured opened its doors Tuesday morning in Melbourne.

One of the things the staff at the Brevard Health Alliance facility will be doing is helping patients navigate the new health-insurance rules.

The Health Alliance said it's anticipating a gap between coverage and need.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, the federal government looked to expand the number of people who would be eligible for Medicaid, which provides health coverage to low-income individuals.

So far, that hasn't happened in Florida, and despite the new legislation, the Brevard Health Alliance said it anticipates seeing a number of uninsured patients.

"Our estimate for Brevard County is that there are probably 170,000 individuals living 200 percent below the federal poverty guideline," said Brevard Health Alliance CEO Lisa Gurri.

Most of the funding for the Brevard Health Alliance's $3.2 million Sarno Regional Health Complex came from the Affordable Care Act.

In the 35,000-square-foot facility, patients can see primary care physicians, dentists and mental health counselors.

The Brevard Health Alliance said some patients may still find frustration.

"There's this gap between what you are currently eligible for and where the marketplace starts," said Gurri.

No one without health insurance will be turned away from the Brevard Health Alliance. The uninsured will still have access to doctors on a sliding-fee basis.

The Brevard Health Alliance estimates the Sarno Regional Health Complex will see 10,000 patients in its first year alone.