Call us for a free intial consultation today and potentially save $100,000 or more in nursing home costs. 1 (877) 21-Medicaid or 1 (877) 216-3342
A Medicaid professional consultant helping an elderly woman to protect her assets and money from the nursing home spend down.

Florida Medicaid Benefits Cut

Optional services cut

Governor Rick Scott proposes reducing fees Florida Medicaid pays to hospitals
Read more articles on Florida Medicaid:
Florida Medicaid Planning Nursing Home
Florida Medicaid: Expanding Privatization
Florida Medicaid: Private Insurance Companies
Florida Medicaid: Patient HMO Wellcare Abuse
Florida Medicaid: Floridians Pay More Taxes
Florida Medicaid Long-Term Planning

Some Florida Medicaid Services Could Be Cut

Some of the services offered by Florida Medicaid, including eyeglasses, dentistry and mental health services could face being cut. The cut is part of the efforts of the state to curb the $21 billion budget that is slated for health care in the next year. The senate's Florida Medicaid legislation is calling for cuts in optional services. However, the cuts will also increase reimbursement rates and will limit the liabilities for all primary care doctors.
The proposed Florida Medicaid budget will soon be released and it comes at a time when federal health officials are making attempts at guiding lawmakers to save money by setting limits on some Medicaid benefits. The goal is to limit possible increases in the Florida Medicaid program. Currently, the program is consuming a large portion of the budget for the state.

Senator Joe Negron: "...the Florida Medicaid benefit will be comparable to...the private sector..."

Senator Joe Negron stated that, "We're only going to be able to fund essential services. My goal is that the Florida Medicaid benefit will be comparable to what a citizen in the private sector has, not worse and certainly not better." Negron currently heads the budget senate panel that is overseeing the Medicaid program in the state.
Governor Rick Scott is also making propositions on how to save money in the state. He is proposing a $1 billion savings that will come from reducing the fees Florida Medicaid pays to hospitals by 5%. Additional details about how these reductions will be made have not been released. The proposals are still being drafted at this time.
The Florida Medicaid program is designed to provide health care for low-income and disabled residents. The projected cost of the program for this fiscal year is $20 billion. The federal government will cover half of that amount. While this is high as it is, the next fiscal year, starting on July 1 is expected to rise to $21 billion. These costs are in addition to a $3.6 billion deficit.
Scott and other Republican governors recently posted a letter to the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The letter was asking her to change the eligibility guidelines so states would be able to cut certain patients from Florida Medicaid. Sebelius is reviewing the request. She responded by saying the states should find other savings methods by charging higher co-payments for some of the services that are offered and by limiting benefits. Cracking down on fraudulent billing and other forms of improper payment would also help reduce costs.

40% of all 2008 Medicaid spending in the US was spend on optional services

It is estimated that nationally, 40% of all 2008 Medicaid spending across the country, which is around $100 billion, was spent on optional services. States could save money by limiting the availability of optional services that could include physical therapy, hospice care and prosthetics. States can use discretion when they choose what optional services are offered and services can be eliminated for some target groups.
Scott is reviewing Sebelius' response but states he "doubts that there's a lot of ways that it's going to allow us to make a lot of savings." Negron adds that the Florida Medicaid budget has increased to the "detriment of education."
The head of the patient advocacy group called CHAIN, Laura Goodhue believes that Medicaid patients will not be able to obtain medical care elsewhere. "That's something you can't get somewhere else -- dentures to eat or eyeglasses to see in school," she said. "They're trying to make them sound frivolous and like extras but they're not."

Florida Medicaid privatization program

Scotty and other lawmakers agree that expanding a five-county Florida Medicaid privatization program will be beneficial in saving the state money. The privatization program already saved money because the for-profit HMOs were delivering fewer services to those with Medicaid. The main complaint among patients is that they do not have access to specialists. There were many insurance companies that withdrew from the program because they were unable to make any profit. This left many patients in search of new doctors.
The proposed senate bill would impose penalties for any provider that withdraws from the program. In addition, the House bill will require these providers to provide services in rural and urban areas, allowing equal access for all patients.
by Dave Henderson (Medicaid Consultant: Sarasota, FL)
Learn about: Medicaid Asset Protection
To learn what is an irrevocable trust and how it can protect your assets from Medicaid visit our site:Irrevocable Trust Asset Protection: Ultra Trust®
Please contact Medicaid Consultants toll-free at 1 (877) 21-Medicaid or 1 (877) 216-3342.
Read more information on Medicaid: