Angie H. and her husband moved from Michigan to a senior living community in southwest Florida earlier this year. Angie’s husband is disabled and his monthly social security disability payment is their only income.
In Michigan, a state that expanded Medicaid, Angie qualified for Medicaid and her husband qualified for Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary payments (SLMB), which paid for his Medicare part B. Unfortunately, Angie's husband does not qualify for Florida's SLMB program, so the cost for his Medicare part B is taken out of his social security disability. This leaves them just $1698 per month to cover rent and living expenses.
Angie is a breast cancer survivor and suffers from arthritis in her lower joints. She has applied for Florida Medicaid, but was denied all three times. She and her husband do not qualify for Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax credits because they don’t file a tax return. This leaves Angie in the health coverage gap, unable to receive Medicaid and ineligible for the tax credits that make private coverage affordable. She is left without health coverage and try to manage her health conditions on her own. With no affordable coverage options, they may have to go back to Michigan, even though they have left everything behind.
“Something needs to change in Florida," Angie says. "It’s just mind blowing how many people are hurting right now. Forty other states have signed the Medicaid Expansion. Florida really needs to get with it to help their own people.”
Angie acknowledges that the governor has signed a new law for kids expanding health coverage eligibility, but she is frustrated that he refuses to extend the same lifeline to adults. “People 19-64 old are in the gap. We are low income, we have a disabled family member, we are right in that gap. What about us? I just want to get the word out, there are thousands more like us.”
If you've lost Medicaid coverage, you may have coverage options. Covering Florida Marketplace navigators across the state of Florida offer free assistance to find affordable coverage. Find a qualified local Covering Florida Navigator at www.coveringflorida.org.
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