HomeFlorida NewsFlorida's youngest are losing Medicaid due to procedural reasons

Florida’s youngest are losing Medicaid due to procedural reasons


Florida – Florida is in the final stages of a comprehensive review of Medicaid eligibility, a process that has been both necessary and challenging, particularly for low-income families across the state. This review, aimed at assessing who qualifies for Medicaid post-COVID-19 emergency coverage period, has revealed some concerning trends, especially regarding the youngest beneficiaries.

Florida's youngest are losing Medicaid due to procedural reasons

A Closer Look at the Impact on Children

One of the most alarming findings from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s recent report is the disproportionate effect this review process has had on children under five. Despite a net increase in Medicaid enrollments in February—with 6,912 more Floridians receiving coverage compared to January—children younger than five have been the most affected group, losing access to Medicaid more than any other age category.

This increase in enrollment marks a significant turn since the state began its eligibility review in April of 2023, following the end of continued coverage under the COVID-19 emergency. However, the backdrop to this situation is the stark reality that, since the unwinding process commenced, approximately 1.3 million Floridians have been stripped of their health coverage, as highlighted by data from the health policy research center KFF.

Procedural Terminations: A Growing Concern

February’s report sheds light on a slightly positive shift, with fewer individuals being removed from Medicaid than in previous months. Yet, there’s a concerning trend we mentioned above that cannot be overlooked. Last month, children younger than five represented the largest group to lose access to Medicaid, with more than half of the fewer individuals removed from the program, 1,779 to be exact, being in this vulnerable age group. According to KFF, 58 percent of Floridians losing Medicaid coverage are doing so for “procedural reasons.” This term refers to the discontinuation of coverage due to the agency’s lack of necessary information or outdated contact details for the individuals under review.

Check also: Florida Senate President shuts down Medicaid expansion hopes just one day after Democratic lawmaker filed expansion proposal

This figure not only highlights the administrative challenges facing the Medicaid review process but also underscores the importance of ensuring accurate and up-to-date information is available for all participants. The high rate of procedural terminations suggests a need for improved communication and information management within the system to prevent eligible individuals, especially children, from losing access to crucial health coverage.

As Florida approaches the April deadline to conclude its Medicaid eligibility review, these findings serve as a reminder of the complexities involved in managing public health programs. They also call attention to the critical need for policies and practices that prioritize the welfare of the most vulnerable, ensuring that no child loses access to healthcare due to procedural oversights.

Read more