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Proposal would keep controversial Medicaid change

The policy requires many poor, elderly and disabled people to apply for Medicaid the same month they become ill or suffer catastrophic injuries.

A key senator Thursday proposed keeping in place a controversial Medicaid change that reduces spending.

Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairman Aaron Bean, a Fernandina Beach Republican, filed a bill (SB 52) that would continue a policy that requires many poor, elderly and disabled people to apply for Medicaid the same month they become ill or suffer catastrophic injuries.

In the past, Florida had a 90-day retroactive eligibility window for people to apply for Medicaid. But under then-Gov. Rick Scott, the Legislature in 2018 moved to reduce the amount of time people can apply for the program, though pregnant women and children were exempted from the policy change.

Under current law, the change to a shorter eligibility period is scheduled to expire July 1. But Bean’s bill would eliminate the expiration date, effectively keeping the policy in place.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ budget proposal for the 2020-2021 fiscal year also would continue the policy.

Bean’s bill and DeSantis’ budget proposal will be considered during the 2020 Legislative Session, which starts Jan. 14.

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