Florida Medicaid: What is it and Can Expansion Work Here?

Medicaid provides healthcare coverage to low income Floridians.  However, it is limited to a select range of services, and only covers children, parents, the elderly, and the disabled. This adds up to 4.2 million people enrolled in Florida.

 

Who is eligible

  • Children aged 0-1 have to be below 206% of the FPL (Federal Poverty Level)

  • Children aged 1-5 have to be below 140% of the FPL

  • Children aged 6-18 have to be below 133% of the FPL

  • Pregnant Women have to be below 191% of FPL

  • Parents/ Caretakers have to be below 29% of FPL

  • Elderly & those with disabilities have to be below 88% of FPL to qualify, however anyone under 219% FPL can also receive long term services

 Single adults without children are not eligible at all.

 

Any decreases in availability of Medicaid would most likely harm children and the elderly as they are the largest group of enrollees with a higher level of needs.

 

Florida’s Uninsured and the Case for Medicaid Expansion

 

Florida has the 3rd highest uninsured rate of the country at 12.9%, resulting in $2.4 billion of uncompensated care.  Uninsured Floridians are using hospital emergency rooms for care, raising the burden for city and county tax payers. There are 400,000 Floridians who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to qualify for tax credits on the Affordable Care Act marketplace (below 100% FPL). These Floridians have no access to affordable health coverage and are in the Florida Coverage Gap.

 

Medicaid expansion is necessary to bring healthcare to the near 400,000 Floridians currently uninsured and unable to afford healthcare- mainly single adults without dependents. 

 

Paying for Medicaid Expansion

 

Currently, for every dollar spent on Florida Medicaid, our state pays 40 cents and the federal government matches that amount and then some- contributing 60 cents. Under Medicaid expansion. Florida’s federal tax dollars would be returned to our state to cover 90 cents of every dollar spent on Medicaid. Besides going to health care, this money would then be pumped right back into the Florida economy due to increased jobs and improved financial security. Medicaid expansion would bring 65.2 billion dollars back into Florida over 10 years. The Florida Policy Institute estimates that expansion would have saved the state budget $501,950,000 in 2018 alone.

 

What will happen if Florida Medicaid isn’t expanded

 

Those who are not eligible for Medicaid, are perhaps able to shop for insurance within the open market, but still may not be able to afford anything other than dangerous short-term health plans. This leaves near 400,000 Floridians stuck without insurance and rushing to the emergency room when things go from bad to worse.  They are never able to treat their conditions, and therefore are stuck in a cycle of emergency treatment to just hope to stay alive.

 

Making Medicaid Expansion a Reality in Florida

 

Right now Floridians have the opportunity to bring Medicaid Expansion to our state by signing a petition to put it on the ballot.  This would allow Floridians to vote on whether to expand or not during the 2020 general election in November.  With Florida legislators firmly against expansion, it is left to the voters.

 

Read & Print the Petition: www.bit.ly/medexpetition

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