Gov. DeSantis asked again to pause Medicaid redetermination process
Image via Right Cheer/Matt Johnson/

Federal data show Florida ranked 45th in both call center wait times and abandonment rates.

Health care advocacy groups continue to call on Gov. Ron DeSantis to put the brakes on Florida’s Medicaid redetermination process and to reinstate children who have been disenrolled from the health care safety net program due to procedural reasons.

DeSantis received a letter Tuesday signed by 50 organizations requesting the Governor to take a closer look at the state’s unwinding process and to streamline it to make it easier for people to reenroll in the safety net program for the poor, elderly and disabled. The advocacy groups have also called on the DeSantis administration to take advantage of increased federal flexibilities offered by the Joe Biden administration.

“So far, the state has not opted for any of the increased flexibilities offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would help to reduce dis-enrollments of eligible kids and families,” said Sadaf Knight, CEO of Florida Policy Institute, per a prepared statement.

“We strongly urge Gov. DeSantis to implement common-sense recommendations that would preserve coverage for Florida children and adults and ensure they have access to life-saving medications.”

Federal data show Florida ranked 45th in both call center wait times and abandonment rates. Lawmakers allocated $3.3 million in state funds to the Department of Children and Families in the Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget. But according to reports, it has not been spent.

Meanwhile, a House Democratic office analysis of Medicaid data shows that over 250,000 individuals in Florida aged 0 to 20 have been disenrolled from Medicaid since federal “continuous coverage” protections ended in April, and as of September 2023, Florida KidCare enrollment has only increased by 14,267.

Florida Health Justice Project lawyer Lynne Hearn said the state should take steps to avoid more children losing coverage during the unwinding. Hearn and others want the state to provide 12 months of continuous coverage for all children currently being redetermined for health insurance and to temporarily waive premiums for those newly enrolling in Florida KidCare.

Moreover, they are asking the state to be more transparent in their Medicaid unwinding and to develop a public-facing dashboard that shows enrollments and disenrollment by age group.

Florida currently has more than 5 million people on Medicaid, the state-federal funded safety net health care program. But Republicans in the Legislature, along with DeSantis and former Gov. Rick Scott, have resisted expanding Medicaid to the extent allowed under Obamacare.

Medicaid expansion hasn’t been seriously considered during DeSantis’ five years in office. Democrats have consistently criticized Florida Republicans for opposing Medicaid expansion.

But Florida Politics reported last week that Rep. Joel Rudman, a leading House Republican and ally of DeSantis, is supporting Medicaid expansion in Florida.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • Ernestine B.Miller

    October 10, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    Yes, and they take most of your money if you are in a care facikity.

  • Cherry Wood

    October 10, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    FLORIDA Medicaid sucks for all ages. I’m retired from the Medical field, and now disabled. Most medical facilities in my County avoid Medicaid at all COSTS!! Almost every agency in Alachua County is fraudulently billing because they don’t want anything to do with Medicaid. I have Medicaid, Medicare, and a supplemental through UNITED DUAL COMPLETE! Soey, I cannot even take advantage of my Medicare help because I have Medicare. These children probably won’t get the meds they need now anyway, because our “State Board of Health” won’t listen to the CDC, and reverse the laws made in 2016, taking away doctor/patient relationship, doctors and nurse practitioners right to prescribe meds, and Florida needs to bring back the “Nurses Creed” and “Hippocratic Oath” Until these areas are restored, no one using Florida Medicaid benefits from it. I know people who’ve dropped Medicaid on purpose so they can use the Medicare benefits instead

    Thank you for listening, and Be blessed!

    PS: PLEASE reverse Medical EUTHENASIA in Florida!! There’s no reason not to reverse these issues now unless y’all are benefitting from all of the deaths from suicide to Overdoses, drug poisonings, mental illness, and people who have to see a pain or mental disease because their NP’s and family doctors can’t prescribe the meds now. The drug war is fueling the drug war!!

  • Cherry Wood

    October 10, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    Typo, sorry, my having Medicaid prevents me from getting much needed Medicare help benefits in Florida!

  • Rick Whitaker

    October 10, 2023 at 8:42 pm

    why do desantis and scott continue their position of not taking federal monies that would help children and poor people. the only answer i can come up with is they are in the maga cult so they simply don’t care about anything but power and money.

  • Rain

    October 10, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    Time to put children and seniors first.
    People are getting sicker and sicker with this economy and growing costs in rent and food.
    Mentally and physically.

    • Rick Whitaker

      October 11, 2023 at 7:06 am

      so vote the mean spirited gop out of office. the maga cult relies on their lies fooling people into voting against their own best interest. don’t be fooled again. remember the who song, ” won’t be fooled again “, it would make a good campaign ad song.

  • Angie Hagadorn

    October 10, 2023 at 11:35 pm

    My husband is 100% disabled age 64 I’m his wife for 30 years I’m 55 years old. He is on social security disability gross $ 1862 a month that’s not taking out the $164.90 a month for part b Medicare or rent, nothing. I’m 55 years old and a Breast cancer survivor with arthritis to my hip one knee and both ankles. I have heart issues. But I’m not on a disability. With that said we live off my husbands gross $1862 a month. We moved from Michigan to Florida. Now mind you in Michigan at that income we was approved and on Medicaid for me. And my husband got help paying for his part b the $164. 90 each month it’s called slmb  ever since 2019. Now here in Florida same income same everything just different state we DON’T qualify for NOTHING. No help with his part B slmb no Medicaid for me. We are in shock and don’t understand how can this happen to seniors. And how low our income is. Florida refuses to sign the Medicaid expansion , which 41 other states have approved it.  Florida needs to help the adults 19 to 64 which is low income. Specially we have NO CHILDREN they are all grown. What about the GAP what about the seniors like my husband and I. This is disgusting and a disgrace. We have no choice. If this doesn’t get changed, we have to move back to Michigan and start our life all over again because I have no medical now.  It took us 2 years to move here. And be on a list for a senior apartment to have this happen to us I’m in shock with Florida. I don’t even qualify for Obama on marketplace market because we don’t have income taxes taken out of our taxes anymore because you don’t when you get Social Security disability and have no other income so we don’t file taxes. So market place said we don’t qualify because we don’t file taxes anymore so with our dilemma, we have no health insurance, and my husband doesn’t get help with paying his part B through slmb so I at age 55. No medical with health issues and my husband’s disabled Florida needs to get with it you need to help your people out now not later. Sign the darn expansion and help the people in your state for god sake please join the 41 other states that has approved it.  Show that you care. And help the 800,000 you’re hurting right now in your state.

    • Rick Whitaker

      October 11, 2023 at 7:53 am

      i live in tennessee and my wife and i are 71. we have medical issues and we dont get any help either. tennessee is also not taking obama care. our combined social security is less than yours. i am a skilled tradesman so i can do small electrical and plumbing for extra money. we get no housing or food help either. we could probably get food stamps but since we only eat rice and beans, we make it. the south is controlled by an anti federal government group of christians that screw everyone over that needs help. christian domination is the biggest problem in the south. they hate poor working class people. if you go to a church on christmas and thanksgiving day, they will give out food. on the other 363 days, not so much. christian right wing nationalist have packed many of the southern states governments and they are not letting go. fortunately, many young voters are voting democrat, so it may change. florida is a white christian nationalist hellhole. there is no way i would ever step foot in that infected state. too bad you didn’t know about florida before you moved there. the blue states are your best bet. michigan and its maga cult are losing hold of georgia and michigan i hope. i wish you the best. thanks flor sharing your story.

Comments are closed.


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