March 8, 2021

Why Expanding Medicaid Eligibility Could Help Florida Insure More People And Boost COVID-19 Vaccination Rates [WLRN]

This post was last updated on September 29, 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.

Veronica Zaragovia writes:

"Florida is one of a dozen states that has not accepted federal funding in order to expand who qualifies for Medicaid, the program that provides health insurance for low-income Americans.

The $1.9 trillion dollar relief package signed recently by President Joe Biden offers holdout states like Florida more money for Medicaid expansion. Now it’s up to lawmakers in Tallahassee to bring a bill to the floor for discussion and vote on it.


Right now, we are part of a coalition of groups, being led by Florida Voices for Health and together with allies at Florida Policy Institute and many other organizations around the state [emphasis added], that are pushing really hard for legislators to be taking up this issue and considering all of the benefits that would accrue both to the state residents and to the state budget. These savings come from things like programs like mental health services and substance-use services that currently are being paid for exclusively by the state and which would, with Medicaid expansion, be paid for in very large part by the federal government."


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