A Million+ Floridians May Soon Lose Medicaid Coverage: What You Can Do to Prepare
Over 4.7 million people have enrolled to receive Medicaid coverage in the state of Florida.
Medicaid is funded by both the federal and state government. This program is designed to provide low-income individuals with comprehensive health insurance. Various aspects of Medicaid, including eligibility requirements, are the responsibility of the state.
Medicaid played a major role in helping provide healthcare services during the pandemic. This coverage helped millions of Americans get essential treatment and care. However, these pandemic protections are coming to an end in Florida and have an impact on over a million Floridians.
Want to learn more about Medicaid coverage for COVID-19? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you’re always covered.
What Is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a federal and state healthcare program that’s designed for low-income households. This program comes with tons of benefits to help you get essential healthcare services.
Medicaid covers a wide range of healthcare services. This includes both inpatient and outpatient services. Since part of the program is funded by the state, eligibility requirements can vary from state to state.
Some states will cover additional services like hearing aids, medical transportation, and new prescription glasses. However, not all states have the same coverage or eligibility requirements. This is why it’s important to understand what Medicaid covers in your particular state.
Medicaid abides by strict federal guidelines. These guidelines are there to ensure that Medicaid is accessible to the people that need it most. However, administrative powers over the program are left to the states.
This is why some states can have different requirements and coverage compared to others.
Medicaid vs Medicare
Many people often get confused between Medicaid and Medicare. Medicaid is a jointly funded program by both the federal and state government. Medicare is solely funded by the federal government and comes with added eligibility requirements that are based on age.
Medicare is designed for people over the age of 65 that need healthcare services. This program covers a wide range of healthcare services that are tailored to seniors.
On the other hand, Medicaid is designed for low-income individuals regardless of their age. The program also covers people that have disabilities to ensure that they get the best care possible.
As mentioned above, Medicaid is a jointly funded program that’s administered by the state. Despite this, the program must abide by federal guidelines that direct the program in many ways. This came in handy during the pandemic when federal guidelines made it compulsory for Medicaid to cover various COVID-19 treatments.
Medicaid is a wonderful program that comes with undeniable benefits. However, it’s important to also pay attention to the limitations of Medicaid. At the end of the day, this program is designed for low-income households that can’t afford private health insurance.
While it’s great to have the essentials covered, there are instances where you can benefit from further coverage. This is why millions of Americans choose private health insurance to give them that added layer of protection.
To help you get a better understanding of what Medicaid covers, we’ve put together a quick rundown of the basics. Here’s what Medicaid in most states will happily cover for you.
- Inpatient hospital care
- Outpatient hospital care
- Physical services and appointments
- Laboratory and X-ray services
- Home health care services
- Nursing home care
- Periodic screening and diagnostics
- Family planning services
- Prescription drugs
- Physical therapy
As you can see, Medicaid is more than happy to cover medical expenses in an emergency situation. This means that even if you don’t have health insurance, Medicaid is there to protect you and your family.
However, it’s important to note the limitations that come with Medicaid as well. This will give you a better idea of the value that private health insurance brings to the table. Here’s what’s not covered by Medicaid.
- Cosmetic procedures
- Experimental treatments
- Non-emergency transportation
- Alternative medicine
- Private nursing
- Dental services
While many of these services may seem optional, they can be important to ensure that you get the best care possible. The last thing that you want is to be in the hospital and find out that the procedure you want isn’t covered. This will often leave you without that care due to the high costs.
Medicaid is run by states even though they are partly funded by the federal government. This means that the eligibility requirements for Medicaid can vary from state to state.
If you live in Florida, the eligibility requirements can be found on the state’s website. These requirements can change overnight, so it’s important to make sure that you have the latest information.
To qualify for Medicaid in Florida, you must be a resident of the state, a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident, or a legal alien. Additionally, you must be from a low-income household and in need of financial assistance to cover medical expenses.
The state of Florida has a table to define what a low-income household is to qualify for Medicaid. If you’re a single person, your annual income limit is $19,392. If you earn less than that, you can qualify for Medicaid.
The limit for two-person households is $26,228 while the three-person household is slightly higher at $33,064.
The COVID-19 pandemic caught the world by surprise in early 2020. While the first detections date back to late 2019, the pandemic took off throughout 2020. This saw countries around the world lock down to help curb the spread of the disease.
Since nothing was really known about coronavirus at the time, widescale measures were introduced to keep people safe. This included a variety of treatments to help people who were struggling with the disease.
Many of these treatments and medicines were not covered by Medicaid at the time. However, the federal government made adjustments and introduced protections to help with this. These measures ensured that everyone was protected during the pandemic.
Medicaid covered everything from treatments to hospitalizations during the pandemic. Here’s a closer look at what Medicaid covered through these essential COVID-19 protections.
- Physician services
- Prescription drugs
- Oxygen therapy
- Ventilator support
- Monoclonal antibody treatments
- Inpatient rehabilitation
While these protections were essential during the pandemic, the spread of COVID-19 has slowed down in the last year. At the height of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people were getting sick every day. These numbers have gone down substantially in 2023.
Despite the fact that case numbers have gone down, they have not gone away completely. People are still getting sick today and still require this treatment to survive. This is why it’s so important to have comprehensive health coverage at all times.
Florida Residents Losing Medical Coverage
The main policy that helped cover Floridians during the pandemic was called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This act widened the eligibility criteria so that more people could access Medicaid.
This was essential due to the widespread nature of the virus and its effect on local economies and jobs. However, Florida has decided to revert its eligibility criteria back to pre-pandemic operations. This means that everyone that benefited from the widened criteria can no longer benefit from the program.
States received additional funding from the federal government during this time. These funds are no longer coming in, so it makes sense to revert back to normal. Despite this, the changes will suddenly leave around a million people without health coverage.
This is a major problem and puts the lives of Floridians on the line. The latest regulations state that the old regulations will come back at the end of March 2023. Reviews will then continue throughout the year to terminate coverage for people that no longer qualify.
The first terminations will proceed at the end of April 2023.
Why Are Floridians Losing Medical Coverage?
In simple terms, the eligibility criteria for Medicaid in Florida were widened to accommodate more people. These regulations are being reverted back to how they were before the pandemic. By doing this, the million people that benefited from the broader requirements will no longer have coverage.
When Are Floridians Losing Medical Coverage?
Florida will go back to the previous eligibility requirements at the end of March 2023. This means that everyone that’s not eligible anymore will lose their coverage. Reviews will be conducted throughout the year to see who no longer qualifies.
The first terminations will come into effect from the end of April 2023. This means that if you’re no longer eligible, you may lose your Medicaid benefits from the end of April.
How Many Floridians Are Losing Medical Coverage?
Florida has almost five million people covered by Medicaid. Of these five million people, it’s estimated that around one million will lose coverage due to this change.
The amended requirements came into effect to provide healthcare for more Americans during the pandemic. This change effectively reverts back to how things were before the pandemic.
Preparing for Lost Coverage
If you only managed to qualify for Medicaid because of the broader eligibility requirements during the pandemic, it’s very likely that you may lose coverage soon. This is why it’s essential to prepare yourself for the changes that are coming.
Private Insurance Plans
While 30 million people in the United States still don’t have medical insurance, the benefits of private health insurance are clear. These plans are designed to provide you with excellent healthcare whenever you need it.
The best way to protect yourself from the changes in Medicaid is to consider a private health insurance plan. These plans don’t come with the same scrutiny as Medicaid or Medicare. Instead, they are tailored to your exact healthcare needs.
If you want coverage for hospitalization but not for day-to-day expenses, you can find a plan for that. This helps you save money and find the solution that you’re looking for. When looking for an insurance plan, it’s always a good idea to shop around for the best deal.
This is because each health insurance policy is unique in how it works and what it covers. However, emergency services are usually always covered. This helps protect you and your family from unforeseen circumstances.
Finding the Best Health Insurance Plan
As mentioned above, having private health insurance is the best way to protect yourself and your family. Unlike Medicaid, you won’t have to stress about new eligibility requirements or coverage changes. Instead, you can have peace of mind knowing that all health-related emergencies are covered.
With that being said, it’s important to understand what kind of insurance plan you want to get. This is important since not all insurance plans are the same. Some health plans are just hospital plans that cover all hospital-related expenses only.
If you have this kind of policy, it won’t cover the expenses that come with visiting the doctor or dentist. Comprehensive coverage is the most beneficial health insurance plan. This insurance plan covers all medically-related expenses and can even include additional extras.
These extras can include some optional procedures, dental work, and cosmetic treatments. This is the more holistic health plan that ensures you’re always fully protected.
Premium Florida Health Insurance
Medicaid coverage can change and evolve over time. While there were stable COVID-19 protections, many feel like they’re not needed anymore. This single decision has the potential to leave millions of people without the healthcare that they need all over the country.
This is why it’s always a great idea to consider private health insurance. Not all health insurance policies are the same, so you can tailor the policy to your exact needs. Contact us today to learn more about getting health insurance for you and your family.