Florida Senate Committee Approves Permanent Retroactive Medicaid Eligibility Reduction

March 2019 ~

The Florida Senate Health Policy Committee has approved legislation that would permanently reduce retroactive Medicaid eligibility from 90 to 30 days.

According to the bill’s summary, SB 192: Medicaid Eligibility would require “the Agency for Health Care Administration to seek authorization from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to eliminate the Medicaid retroactive eligibility period for nonpregnant adults; requiring the agency to request such authorization to become effective no later than a certain date, etc.”

Previously, Florida received CMS approval to cut the Medicaid retroactive eligibility to 30 days, which lawmakers included in the budget for fiscal year 2018-2019. This change is set to expire June 30 unless lawmakers pass the proposed legislation.

The bill’s sponsor says the proposed measure would save the state $98 million dollars. Under the legislation, those who take longer than 30 days to enroll would permanently lose the right to be retroactively compensated.

The changes under SB 192, if finalized, are predicted to impact about 11,500 individuals.

Supporters of the bill say the proposed changes will help would encourage more people who qualify for Medicaid to apply sooner and will help more people gain coverage. Critics of the bill worry the change will limit access to healthcare for the poor, elderly and those with disabilities.

The measure passed the Senate Health Policy Committee in a vote of 6-4 and will need to pass two more committees before it can be taken up by the full Senate.

Source(s): SB 192: Medicaid Eligibility; The Miami Herald; HMA Weekly Roundup March 6, 2019; HealthNewsFlorida; Florida Policy Institute;