June 21, 2020

Bill for Medicaid matching dollars in schools hits Ron DeSantis’ desk [Florida Politics]

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Renzo Downey of Florida Politics writes:

"Schools could soon draw down millions of matching federal health care dollars given Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ OK.

That legislation (HB 81), by Rep. Alex Andrade, would allow the state to access Medicaid dollars to help pay for some health care services in schools provided through the Florida Medicaid Certified School Match Program.


'At no cost to the state, we’d be drawing down $100 million dollars more,' Andrade told Florida Politics.

The Florida Policy Institute, which backed his bill and Sen. Bill Montford’s version, puts that estimate at more than $50 million. And more than 1 million of the state’s 2.7 million public school students are on Medicaid, according to the group."


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