October 11, 2023

Statement from Florida Policy Institute on New KidCare and Medicaid Redetermination Process Data

The statement below was released following the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services meeting on Oct. 11, 2023.

This morning’s briefing provided additional insight into Medicaid redeterminations in the wake of the end of the federal continuous coverage provision. It’s critical that legislators continue to raise important concerns on the redetermination process and hold the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), Department of Children and Families (DCF), and Florida Healthy Kids (FHK) accountable to the families and children who rely on Medicaid and KidCare. The presentations today continue to raise questions for FPI and our partners.

During the briefing, FHK shared new data on KidCare enrollment, which showed that there has been a net increase of about 25,000 children in their program from April 2023 to September 2023. At the same time, more than a quarter million Florida youth aged 0 to 20 have been disenrolled from Medicaid — this is according to data shared by AHCA. This means that there are still tens of thousands of youth who are unaccounted for, and these numbers do not provide confidence that children and families are being seamlessly transitioned to other forms of care. There is still a significant and concerning gap between children being disenrolled from Medicaid and making it onto KidCare, which must be addressed.

DCF shared that a special phone line for the Medicaid redetermination process was created with only a five-minute wait time. While we applaud this idea, FPI and our partners have yet to see this phone number broadly publicized. Additionally, recent data that Florida reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that the average call wait time was 33 minutes in June, which still exceeds national averages. Florida ranked 45th of every state that reported this data. While we support the additional call center funding that DCF indicated they are requesting for fiscal year 2025, about $3 million is currently sitting in reserve from the Legislature to improve the call center for the current fiscal year. We urge them to request to draw that down so that improvements can be made in the immediate term.

FPI, along with 49 other organizations, remains steadfast in our renewed call for DCF to pause the Medicaid redetermination process, and we ask that eligible children disenrolled for procedural reasons have their Medicaid benefits reinstated. We also urge the state to publish a public-facing dashboard with data on both Medicaid and KidCare enrollments.

Additionally, Florida remains the only state in the nation that has not opted for policy flexibilities offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would help to streamline the Medicaid redetermination process and reduce call wait times.

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