TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tens of thousands of Florida children lost their healthcare coverage, but 8 On Your Side has discovered they didn’t have to.
Some of the youngest and most impoverished Floridians don’t have healthcare coverage. In just one month, 249,427 were dropped from Medicaid. These are folks who, for the past three years, have been getting renewed automatically but now, that COVID-era rule has expired.
Automatic renewals are over.
It’s back to the old rules — To keep your Medicaid coverage, you must renew it. However, people aren’t doing that in the sunshine state.
According to a report from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), 4 of 5 who lost coverage were “terminated for procedural reasons (i.e. failure to respond).
Allie Gardner is a senior researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, a non-partisan organization focused on ensuring kids have access to affordable, quality care.
“It is an incredibly shocking number,” Gardner said, “But the one big difference and why we are particularly shocked for Florida is the coverage losses in Florida are more likely to be comprised of children.”
“Your child is likely still eligible for coverage. And without this coverage, children are losing access to preventative care, immunizations, and important screenings.”
So how do you get the coverage back?
You must re-submit your renewal form to DCF. DCF states the documentation was sent out in a “yellow stripe envelope.”
Check out the date of termination. You have 90 days from that date to renew.
The clock is ticking.
If you rely on Medicaid, and you’ve lost your coverage, please email Mahsa at MSaeidi@WFLA.com.
Mahsa’s looking into how the state has handled the renewal process.