2023 LEGISLATIVE SESSION TRACKER
Florida’s 60-day legislative session starts on March 7 with an official end date of May 5.
This session there will be thousands of bills up for consideration. Among these are bills concerning dental care, prescription insulin drugs, Medicaid expansion and Medicaid services among others.
Health care legislation always features prominently during session, including several threats and opportunities. Chief among the concerns for Florida Voices for Health are those bills that may impact access to health services for low- and middle-income Floridians.
Below are the outcomes for some of the health care bills we were tracking.
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BILLS TO WATCH
Click bill number to see language and current status
When is open enrollment and where can I get help?The Affordable Care Act Marketplace open enrollment period starts on November 1st until December 15th. Schedule an appointment at www.coveringflorida.org or call Covering Florida for more info at 877-813-9115. Covering Florida Navigators provide FREE enrollment assistance in all of Florida’s 67 counties and offer confidential one-on-one customer service, phone assistance, and virtual appointments to anyone looking to enroll for health care coverage.
How do Special Enrollment Periods work?You qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you've had certain life events, including losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child. Florida residents impacted by Covid-19, including job or wage loss and related health insurance loss may qualify. If you qualify for an SEP, you usually have up to 60 days following the event to enroll in a plan, so don't delay calling us to learn your options. Call the Covering Florida navigators (877-813-9115) today for information on eligibility and to schedule an appointment for Special Enrollment.
What if I have a pre-existing condition?All Marketplace plans must cover treatment for pre-existing medical conditions. No insurance plan can reject you, charge you more, or refuse to pay for essential health benefits for any condition you had before your coverage started. Once you’re enrolled, the plan can’t deny you coverage or raise your rates based only on your health. Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) also can't refuse to cover you or charge you more because of your pre-existing condition. Under the law, insurers are prohibited from using a consumer’s health status to deny coverage (guaranteed issue), set individual and small group market rates (community rating), exclude coverage of pre-existing conditions, or cancel a policy. Guaranteed issue: The requires insurers to offer health insurance products to everyone in the market, regardless of health status. Community rating: The ACA’s rating rules prohibit insurers from charging higher premiums based on an insured’s health status and they can only vary rates based on geographic rating area, age (limited to a 3:1 differential), tobacco use (limited to a 1.5:1 differential), and whether or not it is individual or family coverage. Ban on Pre-existing Condition Exclusions: Under the ACA, insurers are not allowed to limit or exclude coverage of services and treatment based on an enrollee’s pre-existing condition.
Our Priority Issues
Closing the Coverage Gap
Currently, almost 500,000 Floridians earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to qualify for tax credits in the ACA Marketplace.
The ACA allows states to expand their Medicaid programs and pays for 90% of the cost by returning federal tax dollars. Closing the “coverage gap” would save Florida over $200 million a year while giving more hardworking Floridians the security of coverage.
Funding for Floridians with Disabilities
Florida is currently ranked 49th for per capita spending on services for people with disabilities. Currently, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities does not participate in the state’s estimating conference where budgets are decided.
This has been a major contributor to APD’s underfunding. Allowing APD to participate in the estimating conference would allow them to negotiate for a budget closer to their level of need based on the number of people they serve.
Medicaid Adult Dental Benefit
Currently, for people 21 years and older Florida Medicaid only covers emergency dental services. The list of covered dental benefits for adults enrolled in Medicaid should be expanded to include:
Routine diagnostic care (ex: cleanings, exams and x-rays)
Basic dental services (ex: fillings and extractions)
Major dental services (ex: root canals, crowns)
Protect Florida's Health Care Consumers
In September 2022, The Florida Health Insurance Advisory Board (FHIAB), which shares policy recommendations to the Office of Insurance Regulation, the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the legislature, were presented 8 consumer protection policy recommendations from Florida Voices for Health's Program Director, Louisa McQueeney, who also serves as the Consumer Representative on the board.