Did Florida Accept the ACA Expansion?

The ACA Medicaid expansion was offered to states a few years ago, with the understanding that not all states had to approve it. Florida, after some deliberation, determined not to embrace the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion, citing cost concerns. Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility through the extension would have offered Florida residents health coverage if their annual incomes fell below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. At the time, those rates translated to approximately $26,400 for a typical family, and only $15, 417 for single taxpayers. The ACA Medicaid expansions were signed into federal law in 2012, but currently only 29 states have agreed to the expansion. To learn more about the Obamacare Medicaid expansion details, whether Florida might reconsider ACA Medicaid Expansion and what the ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states actually is, refer to the following topics:

  • What is the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion?
  • Why did Florida decline the ACA Medicaid Expansion?
  • Impact of the Declination on the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Eligibility in Florida

What is the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion?

“What is the expansion of Medicaid?” is a common question of low-income Florida patients seeking health coverage benefits. Unfortunately, the recent ACA Medicaid Expansion did not pass in Florida, which disabled many residents from enrolling in Medicaid throughout the state. ACA Medicaid expansion in Florida would have covered the same individuals as before, such as low-income families and individuals, the elderly and the disabled. However, additional groups that were not covered prior would have been added. It was thought that the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion would finally cover those marginal groups who had continued to fall through the health care cracks because they made just enough money not to qualify for Medicaid, but were too impoverished to afford even the cheapest health care plans offered through the Affordable Care Marketplace. Download our guide to read more about the groups that would have been covered if Florida elected for ACA Medicaid Expansion.

Why did Florida decline the ACA Medicaid Expansion?

Those Florida residents who would have been able to sign up through the Affordable Care Act Medicaid application process will now have to wait a little longer. Of the 24 states that also refused the ACA Medicaid Expansion, the most cited reason for non-participation was the ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states, but now, five years later, the statistics do not seem to support this assumption.

As a program, Medicaid, and the ACA Medicaid expansion, is a program where the funds are matched by the government. However, the federal government waived a great deal of the matching portion that participating states would have to provide. As the current ACA Medicaid expansion rules stand, for the first three years of the expansion, the state would not have to pay anything extra for the program’s implementation and maintenance. After the three years, the state would have to pay a small portion of the administrative costs. Florida governing bodies determined that the ACA Medicaid expansion would cost $5.4 billion through the year 2022, and that it would be too costly for the state’s taxpayers, even though the state would be receiving nearly $66.1 billion in federal funds for the program.

Impact of the Declination on the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Eligibility in Florida

The impact of refusing the ACA Medicaid expansion, five years after the fact, has grown increasingly clear. The decision to refuse the ACA Medicaid expansion impacts a little over 1 million individuals who will go without health insurance, who otherwise would have qualified under the expansion. Not only does the state lose out on the federal dollars, but hospitals that would have treated these covered individuals will also lose money. A national report stated that the money lost by the states that refused the ACA Medicaid expansion would total nearly $423.6 billion through to the year 2022. Florida hospitals, alone, will have lost $22.6 billion during the same span of time.

Additionally, the Obamacare Medicaid expansion details show that the extension would have created jobs within the state. What has not played out over the last five years of the ACA Medicaid expansion program is that Florida has seen the costs of providing health care to the poor significantly climb in comparison to those states that opted to ratify the ACA Medicaid expansion. Directors of hospitals were interviewed in all 50 states and were then compared. The result was staggering. Those who had embraced the ACA Medicaid expansion had seen their costs rise at about 3.4 percent, while Florida, and other states like it, were seeing costs for health care rise at a rate of double that amount. With these numbers impacting the ACA Medicaid expansion debate, Florida may be reconsidering its decision soon. Read more extensive information on the future of Florida Medicaid expansion by downloading our free guide.

What Assistance Benefits Does the Department of Children and Families Provide?

Various assistance benefits are available to residents of Florida through the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Families can receive benefits that allow them to buy nutritious groceries, save money on school lunch for their children and obtain temporary financial assistance. Additionally, petitioners who qualify for one assistance program are also typically eligible for other benefits in Florida. Find out how to qualify for benefits through Florida’s DCF and how to apply for them by downloading our comprehensive guide.

Who Can Receive Assistance Benefits in Florida?

Each assistance program offered through Florida’s Department of Children and Families has various eligibility qualifications that petitioners must meet in order to enroll. Household size and income are only a few factors that are typically taken into account. For more details on eligibility for Florida DCF assistance programs, download our guide.