Local news for Florida reported that Medicaid enrollment increased greatly during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. This was problematic because the unexpected costs that were added to the program could affect future budgeting. 

Floridians may have inadequate access to Medicaid if financial trends continue

Because Medicaid is generally seen as a kind of safety net healthcare program, a large number of people who were unemployed due to the pandemic enrolled to receive services at lower prices than traditional healthcare plans and insurance if they were eligible. 

During several months in the Spring of 2020, statewide enrollment increased by over four percent for each thirty day period. This is a much larger increase than what is traditionally seen during this same timeframe other years, and the highest monthly jump since the state started publishing information related to program enrollment online in 2015.

Florida’s requirements for the Medicaid program include managed care plans for just about everyone enrolled. There are also other “fee for service” programs available. While the program is somewhat complex and misunderstood, each state’s government does provide information about eligibility, coverage, and other requirements online.

The Agency for Healthcare Administration warned that the large increase in enrollments could leave the program in jeopardy as people with disabilities and low income lack access to adequate services. Local news outlets for Florida have also reported that the program could run millions of dollars over budget if thousands more people enroll by the end of the pandemic. This may affect funding and access for years to come if there are significant budgetary shortfalls. Many of these programs receive federal subsidies called the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage. These shortfalls could be exacerbated by the fact that the pandemic will lead to less revenue coming into various healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.  

It remains to be seen what kinds of actions will be needed to make up for these financial losses. 

Planning for healthcare at retirement and beyond

The Medicaid program is often an important part of retirement planning. Elderly people should plan for costs related to prescriptions, care in nursing homes, and other significant expenses. Many families underestimate the significant costs associated with providing care for their parents and relatives. This is especially true in a state such as Florida that has a large population of retirees and elderly people in nursing homes, along with relatively high healthcare costs. It is not uncommon to have someone’s entire savings or their children’s inheritance spent on healthcare if no advance planning was done. This is why it is so crucial to speak with a professional in this field early. 

Get assistance from a legal professional

There are firms that focus on helping people plan for retirement, healthcare costs, and related issues. To get more information, contact:

The Estate, Trust, and Elder Law Firm

850 NW Federal Highway, #1004, Stuart, FL 34994



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