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Medicaid enrollment continues to climb amid pandemic

Enrollment has been steadily on the rise amid the pandemic.

As the state saw a surge in COVID-19 cases last month, enrollment in the Florida Medicaid program continued to increase. Medicaid enrollment in June grew by nearly 2% over the prior month, with the program providing health coverage to more than 4.1 million poor, elderly and disabled people.

June’s 1.99% growth came after increases in previous months as Floridians lost jobs because of the pandemic. More than 3.2 million Medicaid beneficiaries receive coverage through managed-care plans. Another 914,000 people are in what’s considered a “fee for service” part of the program.

The spike in Medicaid enrollment caused by the pandemic is larger than what state Medicaid officials initially anticipated. The News Service of Florida reported in May that the Agency for Health Care Administration estimated enrollment could increase by 109,348 people between April 1 and June 30. But it increased by 224,375 people.

Even with the initial estimate, AHCA budget analysts warned that the growth in the program could blow a $1 billion hole in Florida’s Medicaid budget in the fiscal year that took effect July 1.

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Republished with permission from the News Service of Florida.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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