The Florida Hospital Association (FHA) is taking several measures to spread awareness about the upcoming Medicaid eligibility redeterminations process. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 ends the continuous Medicaid coverage provision on March 31st, and is linked to the federal public health emergency (PHE), which is also coming to an end.
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) determines Medicaid eligibility in Florida, although the Social Security Administration determines eligibility for Social Security Income recipients. Many will undergo an automatic review process during the 12-month redetermination period, although those who are determined to be no longer eligible will begin to lose coverage in May.
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“Consistent insurance coverage is critical for timely access to preventive, primary, specialty, and behavioral healthcare,” FHA President and CEO Mary C. Mayhew told State of Reform. “FHA is working with our member hospitals, state agency partners, and community-based organizations to ensure that all individuals are aware of the impending changes to Medicaid eligibility redeterminations as a result of the end of the COVID-19 PHE and understand their options for coverage.”
FHA has been actively engaging with DCF during this process, and has distributed DCF’s redetermination plan and partner packet, which includes information on timelines for redeterminations, and options for coverage. The redeterminations approach will be population-based and will prioritize individuals who are aging out or who are becoming categorically ineligible.
Individuals who are found to be ineligible for coverage will be automatically referred to other healthcare coverage programs, like Florida KidCare, if they are eligible. Those who lose coverage may access the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) webpage. FQHCs assist individuals who are without insurance and in underserved communities for accessing care, and offer fees on a sliding scale. They may also receive financial assistance for prescription medications through Florida RX or the Florida Discount Drug Card Program.
“We are communicating frequently with our members about the changes and are poised to disseminate a comprehensive toolkit for hospitals and their case managers to help them assist enrollees with redeterminations,” Mayhew said.
FHA has been distributing statewide member alerts while publishing regular updates in its newsletter. Mayhew said FHA held statewide webinars last year to inform hospital CEOs and case managers how to assist enrollees with coverage, and webinars continued this year.
On Feb. 17th, FHA hosted a webinar with DCF leadership to review the Medicaid redeterminations process. The webinar was open to all FHA member hospitals, systems, and staff. On March 23rd, FHA will host another Medicaid redeterminations process webinar to discuss disenrollment assistance through Medicaid, the marketplace, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This webinar will be free and open to the public and will feature Jodi Ray, the principal investigator and project director of Florida Covering Kids & Families as a speaker.
“Above all, we want to ensure our hospitals are able to continue providing timely, high-quality care to all Floridians,” Mayhew said.