Groups Release New Guide for Florida Medicaid Program

Groups Release New Guide for Florida Medicaid Program

Florida Health Justice Project Issues Comprehensive Guide to State’s Medicaid Law

Washington – Multiple court decisions have quoted the late federal Judge Henry Friendly’s observation that Medicaid law is “almost unintelligible to the uninitiated.” And while states must follow federal Medicaid law, each state program has its own policies and procedures. In response to this challenge, the National Health Law Program prepared a template guide that state advocates could to use in creating state specific Guides.

Based on the National Health Law Program’s template, the newly published Advocate’s Guide to the Florida Medicaid Program provides an overview of who in Florida is eligible for Medicaid; how to apply; what to do if an application or services are denied or delayed; and how the Florida Medicaid managed care program works.

In addition to providing a basic roadmap for obtaining Medicaid eligibility, the Guide provides Florida advocates with citations to the underlying statutes, regulations, policies, and managed care contracts if clients experience denials or delays.

With financial support from the Florida Justice Technology Center (FHTC), the Guide was prepared by Miriam Harmatz, Co-Director of the new the Florida Health Justice Project (FHJP), along with co-authors Margaret Kosyk of Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida, Inc., and Jazmine-Janine Dykes, a third-year law student at the University of Miami Law School.

Harmatz said, “The Guide exemplifies FHJP’s mission, i.e. increasing the advocacy community’s capacity to ensure access to health care for low income Floridians, and we are deeply grateful to FJTC and NHeLP for their support.”

National Health Law Program Managing Attorney of the North Carolina office Sarah Somers said the Florida guide would be indispensable to health care advocates in the state.

“Medicaid is a vital health care program, especially for women, people of color, and low-income individuals and families,” Somers said. “The Advocate’s Guide to the Florida Medicaid Program is accessible and will prove integral to the advocates who work every day to ensure that Floridians struggling to make ends meet are not denied access to quality health care.”

Somers added, “We also look forward to working with FHJP on updating the Advocate’s Guide to the Florida Medicaid Program, if and when Florida decides to join 32 states and the District of Columbia in accepting federal dollars to extend Medicaid coverage to all low income adults as set forth in the Affordable Care Act. For that to happen we must forcefully counter the cruel and antiquated argument that low income people have to be ‘worthy,’ which really means only those who are aged, blind, disabled, a child, are provided affordable health insurance plans.”

Read the Florida Medicaid program guide here.

Please contact the National Health Law Program Communications Department at leaming@healthlaw.org or 202-552-5176 to speak with Harmatz or Somers about the new Florida Medicaid guide.

National Health Law Program, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care.

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