FAQs for Health Care Services in Florida

  1. I keep hearing the term, 'medically necessary', so what does that mean?

Medically necessary is the term used to define the level of care that is needed by a Medicaid participant

  1. Can I be on Medicaid at the same time as Medicare?

Yes, many Medicare recipients are also participants in the Medicaid program. The Medicaid program funding can be used to cover or subsidize the monthly premiums, out-of-pocket costs, meeting deductibles (if applicable), and lowering or dismissing the costs for prescription drugs.

  1. I was told that I might not qualify for Medicaid due to the look back period. What is this?

When assessing the income levels of potential Medicaid participants, the case worker will review a candidate's financial holdings going back at least five years prior to application for Medicaid. If significant holdings are found, then a candidate will be rejected from the program.

  1. My grandmother needs to go on Medicaid, but she is not able to apply for herself. Can I apply for her?

You can apply for Medicaid on behalf of anyone who has given you legal power of attorney. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to apply.

  1. How do I get approved for the Medicaid Cash and Counseling program?

There are certain forms that will have to be submitted to the state fiscal agent. Spouses and relatives of those who are considered in-need, can be approved for a stipend through the state. However, the qualifications and the process for approval are stringent.

  1. What is the difference between Medicare Choice and the regular Medicare plans?

Medicare Choice has had a name change, and is called Medicare Advantage, or Plan C. This type of Medicare plan is offered through private insurance companies, and its associated costs can vary from one agency to the next. Medicare Choice offers more coverage than Plan A or Plan B, alone.

  1. I'm new to Medicare, so I'm not sure who I submit my medical bills to. Can you help?

Most medical facilities will submit the bills directly to Medicare on your behalf. However, carefully compare the Medicare statement that you receive with the services provided as sometimes mistakes can happen.

  1. I am not happy with my current Medicare plan. Is it too late to switch?

Medicare only allows enrollment during specified periods. However, there are circumstances where one may be allowed to change outside of the regular enrollment, or disenrollment periods. If you are currently unhappy with the plan, consult with an agent to see what may be done about it.

  1. I have lost my Medicare card, so where do I go to get a new one issued?

As long as you have the policy number, or member number, that was listed on the card, you can go online, log in to your account, and request a new card to be sent to you. You can also go in person to the local Social Security Office and apply for a new one in that way.

  1. What is Medigap and do I need it?

Medigap is an additional supplemental insurance that will cover those expenses not covered by Medicare. This is often the gap insurance of choice for those who do not qualify for Medicaid.

  1. Is the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare the same thing?

Actually, they are the same thing. Originally, the official legislation was called the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but opposition to the bill called it, Obamacare. The name continues to be used as a common name for the ACA.

  1. Don't most Americans want Obamacare to go away?

Actually, recent figures show that most who have insurance through the ACA like the fact that they have insurance, and if anything, would just like to see adjustments made. Most Americans do not want the program to go away.

  1. Can I use a HSA (health savings account) to pay for ACA premiums?

The ACA does not stipulate how a participant pays for the premiums each month. However, in order to qualify for subsidies, the beneficiary must qualify based on income.

  1. How long do I have before the free refugee medical benefits offered to me run out?

You will have up to eight months of coverage with the refugee health care services. However, initially you will be covered by the Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) program until Medicaid takes effect.

  1. I was told that in order to receive medical services that I would need to produce an approval letter to show that I have been granted refugee status, but all I have is a recommended approval letter. Is this the same thing?

No, you will need the official Approval Letter which is used by the USCIS (immigration) office. This is only granted after you have been through a thorough medical exam, and your background has been examined for criminal activity.

  1. Where is the best place to apply for refugee health services in Florida?

Refugees in Florida can find most of the services and the applications online. However, free information about refugee health services is always available by visiting the Florida Department of Children and Families, where a representative can immediately offer aid by way of medical assistance, food and shelter. Each region and county in Florida has one of these offices.

  1. I have been told that my refugee benefits have started as of today, but what about other members of my family who are due to arrive in a few weeks?

Each refugee is processed on his or her own, and is given a medical examination upon entry into the U.S. Therefore, your family will be covered just as you are.

  1. What do I need to bring to my first Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) appointment?

You will need to bring medical records, if they exist, and any type of personal identification. In the case of children, parents can produce a birth certificate from the country of origin. However, if none of these documents are able to be obtained or produced, the RMA will still see any refugee who needs medical help.