December 18, 2023

Statement from Florida Policy Institute on HHS Letter Urging Florida to Take Action on Child Medicaid Losses

Secretary Xavier Becerra of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today sent letters to nine states that have seen a disproportionate share of the country’s Medicaid disenrollments for children since the end of the public health emergency on April 1, 2023. Overall, over 3 million children have lost Medicaid coverage in the U.S. in this period; in Florida, that number is 379,800.

The HHS Secretary has called on Florida and 8 other states to enact strong, specific measures to address Medicaid coverage losses; these measures in large part reflect the proposed measures outlined by a group of 50 Florida-based health and child advocacy organizations sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis in an October jointly-signed

In response, FPI released the statement below.

There is a child health insurance crisis that has unfolded in Florida over the last six months; and today, the federal HHS Secretary called upon states with disproportionate shares of children losing Medicaid coverage to take immediate action, including Florida. In October, FPI and 49 of our partners outlined key steps the state should be taking to mitigate coverage loss and ensure that no eligible child loses coverage. As noted in the letter, Florida is the only state to not opt into any of 37 policy flexibilities that HHS offered states to reduce unnecessary coverage loss. Some states have rightly paused their redeterminations for all children until processes can be corrected. We strongly urge Gov. DeSantis to implement common-sense recommendations as outlined in today’s letter from Secretary Becerra, and as outlined by Florida health and child advocacy groups, that would preserve coverage for Florida children and ensure they have access to life-saving medications and care.

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