March 5, 2019

Senators move toward keeping Medicaid change [News Service of Florida]

Christine Sexton of the News Service of Florida writes:

“Kidder told members of the Senate Health Policy Committee that the people who took advantage of the Medicaid retroactive eligibility process generally were patients in hospitals or residents of nursing homes. She said health-care providers can help their clients and that generally providers are ‘adept’ at helping them fill out applications.

Florida needed approval from the federal government to implement the policy, which went into effect Feb 1. Because the policy change was included in the state budget — and not in law — it will expire June 30 unless lawmakers agree to extend it or make it permanent during the legislative session that starts Tuesday.

The Trump administration approved Florida’s waiver request last year.

But Anne Swerlick, a health-care policy analyst at the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], said AHCA’s argument doesn’t make sense given the fact that the state didn’t expand Medicaid to working uninsured adults under the federal law known as Obamacare.

‘It ignores the reality of Florida’s Medicaid program, which is that most healthy adults can’t qualify for Medicaid when they are healthy,’ Swerlick said. ‘So this isn’t a failing of personal responsibility. If somebody shows up at the (state) and tries to apply when they are healthy, they are going to be denied eligibility.'”


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