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Florida will cut thousands of children from the Medicaid program on March 31.

Some of the most vulnerable kids are not only without Medicaid but do not have healthcare coverage at all. At the onset of disenrollment last year, nearly 460,000 kids have lost Medicaid coverage. Notably, only about 49,000 have transitioned to an alternative option, such as Florida KidCare, the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing that families with special healthcare needs and medically complex conditions are still struggling to navigate the system of care,” Erica Monet Li, a policy analyst with the Florida Policy Institute, told the health news outlet.

“Children losing Medicaid are having a hard time moving to CHIP. And many of those kids should probably be covered by Medicaid, to begin with. So that means that those kids are at high risk of becoming uninsured for a period of time.”

During the COVID-induced public emergency, there was an expansion of Medicaid coverage across states. In Florida, the program provides free or low-cost healthcare coverage to “eligible needy persons,” including low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly people and people with disabilities. The Sunshine State saw the number of individuals and families seeking Medicaid assistance reportedly skyrocket from 3.8 million to 5.4 million between March 2020 and November 2022.

In 2022, the highest rates of uninsured children were among Latinos and in poor communities, where almost 9% were left without medical coverage, as reported by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. The rate among Black children was 6.4%, more than a full percentage point lower than the state average.

However, in April 2023, Florida began reviewing people’s eligibility for Medicaid after the end of continued coverage. Following redeterminations, KFF’s nationwide data tracker found that 1.3 million Floridians had lost health coverage through the program.

The Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that 58% of Florida’s recipients had been cut loose for procedural reasons. This means that the agency lacked the necessary information or had outdated contact information for the individual during the review process.

Generally, more Floridians received Medicaid coverage in February than those who lost it, according to a recent report provided by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.


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