Why Florida Needs Medicaid Expansion.
An estimated 400,000 Floridians are in the coverage gap and have no access to affordable health insurance. They earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to qualify for Marketplace tax credits.
In Florida, to be eligible for Medicaid the most a family of 3 can earn and still qualify is about $7,000 a year (30% of Federal Poverty Level). Adults with no children aren't eligible at all.
Under the Affordable Care Act, states can expand their Medicaid programs to cover everyone earning less than 138% of the Federal Poverty Level.
The expansion is paid for by Florida’s federal tax dollars that would be returned to the state.The federal share will never be less than 90% of the costs.
Florida would see net state budget savings of roughly $200 million in Fiscal Year 2022-23 by expanding the Medicaid program, according to the latest report by the Florida Policy Institute (FPI).
Florida lawmakers continue to reject Medicaid expansion.
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Sick and in Constant Search for Affordable Medical Care
In 2015 I went to the Emergency Room at Cape Coral Hospital. I’d been extremely sick for about two years. I had no idea what was wrong. My symptoms became more progressive so my husband took me to the hospital. I was in the hospital for a week the first time and a week the second time I went in.
The Surgeon was sure that I had Crones Disease. He and I discussed my long-term symptoms and he was clear that was the issue. The GI specialist disagreed. So, I left the hospital without a diagnosis. This was detrimental to my health because no doctor would treat me without a clear diagnosis.
At the time I did not have health insurance. I worked part time and my job did not offer health insurance. I could not qualify for subsidies through the Marketplace because I didn’t make enough money. I was able to enroll in a health coverage program through Lee Memorial Health System in Lee County. Through a partnership with our United Way, the program helps people with low income access health care. When I came into the Emergency Room they were aware that I would need continual care and could not afford it. They operate on a sliding scale. I was able to see my Primary doctor for other health issues, but he was clear that he could not prescribe medication for Crones. I even called local clinics and specialists to see if I could get a doctor to see me pro bono, but I could not get any help.
By: Nicole G., Lee County