March 5, 2019

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

This post was last updated on September 10, 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.

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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