E.L. is a mom from Pinellas County. She and her 2 children have received Medicaid coverage for several years. However, in early August an email arrived stating that her children no longer qualified for coverage due to Medicaid redetermination. “My income has not changed,” E states, “nothing has changed. Yet I’m still eligible and my children are not?” She immediately reapplied and within 24 hours both her children were denied again.
The state noted that E’s children were eligible for KidCare and instructed her to contact the state to accept the coverage. Becaise the cost of KidCare was too high, she could not accept the coverage. However, the state automatically enrolled her children in the KidCare plan without E’s knowledge, and debited the $500 premium from her checking account using the bank information it had on file. It took her almost 6 weeks to get the money back from the state, making it difficult to cover monthly expenses in the meantime. “It was really bad timing,” E remembers.
The children’s disenrollment from Medicaid has greatly impacted the family’s finances. “Because my children lost coverage, my family is taking on medical debt to pay for basic health services and dental care,” E explains.
Since the Medicaid redetermination process began in April, Florida has seen some of the highest disenrollment rates in the country. As a result, many Floridians have abruptly lost coverage in the middle of treatments, scheduled surgeries and medications. Those seeking answers and re-enrollment are struggling to contact state agencies. Florida ranks 50th in the US for abandoned calls, and 49th for call time average.
If you or a family member are no longer eligible for Medicaid coverage, you may have coverage options. Marketplace Navigators offer free, professional assistance understanding your options and selecting a healthcare plan. To connect with a qualified local Navigator, visit coveringflorida.org.
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