September 28, 2023

Statement from Florida Policy Institute on State's Uninsured Rate

Florida’s uninsured rate has long been higher than the national average, due to our economy’s prevalence of low-paying jobs without employer-sponsored coverage and underinvestment in health and human services. For the last decade, state leaders have not taken the opportunity to close the coverage gap by expanding Medicaid. Forty states have extended their Medicaid programs to all adults with low income, drastically reducing their uninsured rates, and decreasing health insurance costs for all by reducing uncompensated care costs. Here in Florida, expanding Medicaid would save the state roughly $200 million per year, and would also connect nearly 1 million Floridians with health insurance who now find themselves in the coverage gap – meaning they make too much to qualify for Medicaid (the income cap is about $8,000 per year for a parent in a family of three), and too little to qualify for Marketplace tax subsidies.

Additionally, over the last six months, a net of 524,000 Floridians have lost Medicaid coverage during the ‘unwind’ process after federal continuous coverage protections expired at the end of March. Instead of ensuring every eligible child and family kept coverage, policymakers have not upheld the promises they made in their published plans for this redetermination process. Furthermore, Florida remains the only state in the nation where lawmakers have not taken up policy options offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would help to reduce disenrollments of eligible children and families. We call on the state, the Legislature, and the DeSantis Administration to immediately enact reforms to stop the tidal wave of coverage loss for kids, and to make plans to join 40 states to close the coverage gap.

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