HealthDelay in Florida Medicaid trial raises stakes for hundreds...

Delay in Florida Medicaid trial raises stakes for hundreds of thousands

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Florida’s trial on Medicaid eligibility, resulting in 1.8 million people losing coverage, has been indefinitely postponed because the judge overseeing the case had a death in her family.

The class-action lawsuit contends the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Children and Families improperly terminated Medicaid coverage for individuals without providing specific reasons or allowing them to appeal the decision before termination.

Advocates say it’s tied to a recent report showing Florida has disenrolled about 600,000 children from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program since COVID-related coverage protections were lifted.

Norin Dollard, senior policy analyst and director with Kids Count, believes the state could do more to prevent coverage loss.

“I mean, that’s a significant loss of health care. Kids are a little different than adults because Medicaid is only available to those with low incomes, generally speaking. But kids are much more likely to be eligible for Medicaid. And it’s a substantial portion of health insurance for kids, ” she said.

State attorneys initially tried to postpone the case, arguing that Monday’s start was insufficient time for them to prepare effectively. However, the judge disagreed. Now, both sides will have to wait to hear when a new trial date will be set and whether the state will be forced to reinstate coverage and overhaul how it notifies recipients.

Dollard said there are several legal challenges in play, including one by the state, which sued the Center for Medicaid Services to stop it from enforcing 12 month continuous eligibility in the state’s CHIP program.

“The state says that they can terminate coverage for lack of payment, whereas the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services says that they cannot, so we’re currently waiting to see what the judge will order from that, ” Dollard said.

However, the class-action lawsuit, filed by the National Health Law Program and the Florida Health Justice Project last August, represents five named plaintiffs and a broader class of individuals cut from Medicaid since March 31st, 2023.

Ultimately, Dollard believes the state can do more to make the process smoother, and notices can be more specific for recipients to be able to respond to the state’s requests.

Retraso en ensayos de Medicaid en FL aumenta riesgos para miles de personas

florida medicaid trial

El juicio de Florida sobre la elegibilidad para Medicaid, que resulto en la perdida de cobertura de 1.8 millones de personas, se pospuso indefinidamente porque el juez que superviso el caso tuvo una muerte en su familia.

La demanda colectiva sostiene que la Agencia de Florida para la Administracion de Atencion Medica y el Departamento de Ninos y Familias de Florida terminaron indebidamente la cobertura de Medicaid para individuos sin proporcionar razones especificas ni permitirles apelar la decision antes de la terminacion.

Los defensores dicen que esta relacionado con un informe reciente que muestra que Florida ha dado de baja a unos 600 mil ninos de Medicaid y del Programa de Seguro Medico Infantil desde que se levantaron las protecciones de cobertura relacionadas con el COVID. Norin Dollard es analista de politicas de Kids Count del Florida Policy Institute y cree que el estado podria hacer mas para evitar la perdida de cobertura.

“Quiero decir, esa es una perdida significativa de atencion medica. Los ninos son un poco diferentes a los adultos porque, en terminos generales, Medicaid solo esta disponible para personas con bajos ingresos. Pero es mucho mas probable que los ninos sean elegibles para Medicaid, y es una parte sustancial del seguro medico para ninos,” indico ademas la entrevistada.

Los abogados estatales inicialmente intentaron posponer el caso, argumentando que el lunes en la manana no era tiempo suficiente para prepararse eficazmente. Sin embargo, el juez no estuvo de acuerdo.

Ahora, ambas partes tendran que esperar para saber cuando se fijara una nueva fecha del juicio y si el estado se vera obligado a restablecer la cobertura y revisar la forma en que notifica a los destinatarios.

Dollard dice que hay varios desafios legales en juego, incluido uno por parte del estado, que demando al Centro de Servicios de Medicaid para impedir que aplique la elegibilidad continua de 12 meses en el programa CHIP del estado.

“El estado explica que pueden cancelar la cobertura por falta de pago, mientras que los Centros de Servicios de Medicaid y Medicare dicen que no pueden, por lo que actualmente estamos esperando ver que ordenara el juez al respecto,” insistio tambien Dollard.

Sin embargo, la demanda colectiva, presentada por el Programa Nacional de Ley de Salud y el Florida Health Justice Project en agosto pasado, representa a cinco demandantes nombrados y a una clase mas amplia de personas excluidas de Medicaid desde el 31 de marzo de 2023.

En ultima instancia, Dollard espera que el estado puede hacer mas para que el proceso sea mas fluido y los avisos pueden ser mas especificos para que los destinatarios puedan responder a las solicitudes del estado.

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