Fla wants to expand funding for one Medicaid program

Florida has no plans to expand its Medicaid program as part of the Affordable Care Act, but it does want to dramatically increase funding for its Low Income Pool (LIP) program, the Miami Herald reported.

State officials plan to increase funding for the program from $1 billion to $3 billion per year, according to the Herald.

"Our feeling at the agency is that there are opportunities here to make the LIP program larger," Justin Senior, Florida's deputy secretary for Medicaid, told state lawmakers. "We have talked with the federal government about that, and the federal government, by and large, they seem generally receptive to the possibility of it."

The money, which would come from the federal Medicaid program, would help defray charity care costs for Florida's hospitals and provide premium support for low-income residents and other healthcare delivery programs. The state would have to apply for a waiver from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Lawmakers didn't object to the potential expansion of LIP, even though it rejected $51 billion a year in federal funds to expand the Medicaid program as part of the ACA to about one million uninsured Floridians. Half of the states have declined to expand Medicaid, leaving millions of low-income without sources of insurance coverage.

However, the ACA is also cutting some disproportionate share hospital payments (DSH) to providers, making the extra LIP programs vital.

"Unfortunately, those people are not going anywhere, and they're not getting insurance," Linda Quick, president of the South Florida Hospital Association, told the Herald. "And therefore we need to continue to put money into the Low Income Pool."

To learn more:
- read the Miami Herald article

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