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Health Care Issues to Watch as the 2021 Florida Legislative Session Starts

We have made it to the start of another legislative session. It will undoubtedly be critical to how Florida recovers from the pandemic. To help us all keep a pulse on what’s happening, we have our updated legislative tracker with the health care bills currently filed. If you’re interested in taking a deeper dive on pending policy, enjoy this legislative session preview presentation and slides. The presentation has a rural health focus but touches on all the major bills we’re watching.

Medicaid expansion remains our top priority this session. Two of the Medicaid expansion bills have been referred to the House Finance & Facilities Subcommittee. As a coalition, we’re pushing to educate committee members and urging them to hear the bills (HB 443 / HB 341) during session. In addition to direct outreach to legislators, Floridians can tweet, email, and call elected officials with one-click at

Here are some highlights from Tallahassee leading up to the start of session:

  • Last week, Representative Angie Nixon and Senator Jason Pizzo filled HB 1117/SB 1552 that would put into law a comprehensive adult dental benefit in Florida Medicaid. Currently, for people 21 years and older Florida Medicaid only covers emergency dental services to alleviate pain, infection, or both, and procedures essential to prepare the mouth for dentures. You can learn more about the bill and Florida’s Medicaid dental benefit with this one-pager and this policy brief from the Florida Policy Institute.

  • HB 961, the bill looking to authorize dental therapists in Florida and companion to SB 604, has been referred to its committees and is now in the Professions & Public Health Subcommittee. Learn more at:

  • SB 130, a bill looking to increase the use of peer specialists, has been amended to lay out a more robust screening process. The bill is on the Children, Families, and Elder Affairs committee agenda for 03/02/21, 4:00 pm, 37 Senate Building.

  • HB 701, a bill requiring AHCA to establish a system for tracking and monitoring complaints regarding coverage and access to mental health services, is on the Finance & Facilities Subcommittee agenda for 03/02/21, 1:00 pm, 214 House Office Building * 402 South Monroe Street.

  • SB 404, a bill addressing health equity, was amended to expand the scope of work for minority health liaisons and lists additional initiatives for the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity. The bill is on the Health Policy committee agenda for 03/03/21, 12:00 pm, 412 Knott Building. (Full committee agenda).

  • HB 1155, a bill authorizing the Office of Insurance Regulation to examine pharmacy benefit managers and companion to SB 390, has been referred to its committees and is now in the Finance & Facilities Subcommittee.

  • CS/SB 348, a bill expanding the types of emergency transportation vehicle services provided to Medicare-eligible persons that Medicaid will pay for, is now on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services agenda (03/03/21, 2:30 pm, 412 Knott Building).

  • HB 831, a bill regulating and expanding the scope of Telehealth, has been referred to its committees and is now in the House Professions & Public Health Subcommittee.

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