Friday, November 17, 2017

Fla. proposes charging medically needy monthly fee

RECOMMENDED READING


MIAMI — State health officials are moving tens of thousands of Medicaid patients with serious medical conditions into managed care plans, but health care plans are worried the patients won't be able to afford the proposed monthly premiums.

The state pays the monthly medical bills of patients with high health care costs under the Medically Needy program. Patients must meet a share of the cost each month that varies based on their income.

The state spends more than $900 million a year to provide services for at least one month to more than 250,000 people a year. But under a new Medicaid privatization plan, the state is asking those patients to start paying roughly $120 a month to receive services. If they can't pay, they are kicked out of the program after a 90-day grace period and have to re-qualify. Advocates worry the change could lead to lapses in care for a population with serious chronic health conditions such as cancer, heart disease and HIV.

At a public meeting on the issue in South Florida this month, representatives from health care plans warned patients won't be able to pay the proposed $120 monthly costs in a down economy, leaving health care plans on the hook.

"We believe there's going to be a high incident of nonpayment," said Michael Garner, president of Florida Association of Health Plans Inc.

"We're going to ask you to pay premiums every month and if you don't, you're going to lose your coverage … we're talking about transplant patients, patients with HIV AIDS, cystic fibrosis, patients with very serious health conditions and a single month gap could lead to very serious consequences," Garner said.

It will be the first time private health care plans in the state will provide coverage for medically needy patients and experts say it's a difficult and expensive population to cover because they have serious health conditions and often have low incomes.

Comments
Senate hires special master as second Latvala probe gets underway

Senate hires special master as second Latvala probe gets underway

The Senate’s decision to outsource its investigation of sexual harassment claims against Sen. Jack Latvala got moving on the second track Friday as the Senate’s hired special master started interviewing witnesses.The special master, retir...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida Democratic chairman resigns over allegations of being creepy

Florida Democratic chairman resigns over allegations of being creepy

Stephen Bittel's rocky tenure as Florida Democratic Party chairman ended in disgrace Friday after he resigned following accusations from women that he leered at them, made suggestive comments and created an unprofessional work environment.Bittel...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida lawmakers illustrate partisan battle lines on taxes

Florida lawmakers illustrate partisan battle lines on taxes

WASHINGTON – Florida lawmakers have drawn hard lines in the debate over taxes.Every House Republican yesterday voted for the $1.5 trillion plan (details here) while every Democrat opposed it*. Talking points were flying on both sides."This legi...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
New Asian Family Center Opens

New Asian Family Center Opens

Updated: 1 minute ago
Judge: Pennsylvania State Police tried to avoid scrutiny

Judge: Pennsylvania State Police tried to avoid scrutiny

Lawyers for Pennsylvania State Police are squaring off against a district attorney in court over a grand jury investigation that state police want to shut down
Updated: 2 minutes ago

Minnesota Twins returning to longtime radio home WCCO-AM

The Minnesota Twins are returning to WCCO Radio after 11 seasons on other Twin Cities stations
Updated: 5 minutes ago
The Latest: Retiring Dale Jr. has engine issues in practice

The Latest: Retiring Dale Jr. has engine issues in practice

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran into problems in the first practice session of his final race weekend
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Report: NFL investigating Jameis Winston for allegedly groping Uber driver

Report: NFL investigating Jameis Winston for allegedly groping Uber driver

The NFL is investigating Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, according to BuzzFeed News.The report is based on a letter sent by the NFL this week to a female Uber driver, who is accusing Winston of grabbing her crotch in March 2016 in Sc...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Investigation: Radioactive leaks at Illinois nuclear plants

Investigation: Radioactive leaks at Illinois nuclear plants

Illinois nuclear plants leak radioactive waste despite efforts to halt accidents
Updated: 7 minutes ago

Florida Democratic Party chair resigns over sexual behavior

Florida Democrat Party Chairman Stephen Bittel resigned after anonymous allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior, a decision he made Friday after four candidates for governor said he should step down over the report
Updated: 9 minutes ago