Opponents 'blast' nearly $100M cuts to Medicaid

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Providers and senior advocates alike are “blasting” proposed cuts to Medicaid in the Sunshine State.

At issue is a proposal from Gov. Rick Scott (R) and the Florida Legislature to slice the window for retroactively approving Medicaid claims from 90 days down to just 30, according to the News Service of Florida. That extra cushion is currently in place, and mandated federally, to give seniors and other individuals receiving care time to gather info for their application.

But at a public hearing Tuesday in Tallahassee, reps from the Safety Net Hospital Association of Florida and two policy institutes took umbrage with any moves to close that window, which would save the Florida's main safety-net health program almost $100 million.

“This proposal in fact zeroes in on people with disabilities, including seniors coping with end-of-life-care. They are going to be disproportionately hurt,” Anne Swerlick, an attorney with the left-leaning Florida Policy Institute, said in the report.

Florida officials say the move would affect about 39,000 individuals. In a written statement to the news service, Agency for Health Care Administration spokeswoman Mallory McManus stressed that “no Medicaid services are being reduced as a result of this amendment.”

Federal law currently requires Medicaid programs to provide that 90-day retroactive coverage window. If it greenlights the proposal, Florida would join a “handful” of other states that have already eliminated such retroactive eligibility, according to the news service.