Did Florida accept the Medicaid Expansion?

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The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion plan was available to all states to enact. The ACA Medicaid expansion in Florida would largely change the Medicaid program offered to residents. What is the expansion of Medicaid and how does it affect Florida participants? The Obamacare Medicaid expansion details may seem complicated but they mainly affect one area: Medicaid enrollment requirements. The new Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility standards loosen older Medicaid guidelines, making income the only criteria for acceptance. Many existing and prospective participants wonder, “What is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion income requirement?” In many states that have gone forward with the ACA Medicaid expansion, applicants can receive benefits if they earn 133 percent of the federal poverty level or less. The states that choose not to partake in the ACA expansion to Medicaid will keep old qualifications that looked at factors like one’s age, family status and disability. Continue reading for more information about changes to the Florida Affordable Care Act Medicaid application requirements and expansions to the program.

ACA Medicaid Expansion in Florida

The purpose of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion is increase the number of applicants who are eligible for Medicaid coverage. However, the ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states was a factor that many officials considered before electing to accept the additional coverage. Although 31 states and Washington D.C. have accepted the expansion of Medicaid over the course of the last few years, Florida is not one of those states.

Florida officials did not reject the Affordable Care Act expansion plan lightly. The subject was of much debate in 2014 and 2015 but the lawmakers ultimately chose to opt out of the expansion. The program is designed to help thousands of people from each state have access to health care. However, the ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states can be problematic to certain budgets. The federal government provide resources for the expansion, but the states that accept it will still have to pay for part of the program. The cost of the Affordable Care Act expansion is the biggest reason why Florida and other states have turned down implementing the expansion. 

Learn more about the existing qualifications to receive Medicaid coverage in our detailed guide.

What does opting out of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion mean for Florida?

Accepting or rejecting the offer for the Affordable Care Act expansion in Florida does not affect those who are current Medicaid recipients. If the Medicaid expansion from the Affordable Care Act was instituted, the requirements for the program would have been loosened guidelines, allowing more people with low incomes to be eligible. Most Medicaid expanded states allow those who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level to receive Medicaid benefits. However, some states have slightly higher or lower income qualifications.

The Obamacare expansion largely impacted low-income adults 19 to 64 years of age who do not have children, as they would be unlikely to get Medicaid assistance without the expansion. While the expansion could help more low-income people, Florida lawmakers feared the ACA expansion’s costs and effect on the financial health of the state in the future. Since Florida’s ACA Medicaid expansion was not signed into effect, the existing Medicaid requirements are still valid. Generally, those in certain income brackets who have disabilities, are pregnant, elderly or have children can receive Medicaid benefits in Florida.

Will Florida ever expand its Medicaid program?

There is a small possibility that the Obamacare Medicaid expansion could pass in Florida eventually, though this unlikely as both the governor and the state senate blocked the expansion in the past. Many lawmakers do not want to impose the ACA Medicaid expansion cost to the state budget for welfare programs. However, each state that did not accept the ACA Medicaid expansion can modify or improve the Medicaid program on its own without working with the federal government.

While the simpler ACA Medicaid eligibility requirements are not in effect in Florida, anyone can still fill out a Medicaid application to get Medicaid benefits. Not all applicants will be accepted into the program so be sure to check all of the requirements for enrollment before applying to Medicaid.

Please be aware: If you did not qualify for Medicaid, you may have other options. Medicaid does not manages all medical assistance programs, so those who are ineligible may still apply to others. To learn more about these programs, download our complimentary guide.