January 14, 2019

In November 2018, Florida announced that there would be some big changes to current Medicaid coverage that could affect a substantial amount of the state’s population. Effective February 1, 2019 Florida will no longer provide financial assistance for any month prior to the month that a person files their Medicaid application.  This a huge change that can and will affect many. But what does this mean and how could this affect you?

What does it mean?

Prior to February 1, 2019, when a person is approved for Medicaid, their coverage not only goes back to the date filed, but also three months prior to the application date, if the applicant met the Medicaid eligibility during that time. 

Starting February 1, 2019, when a person is approved for Medicaid, they will only receive coverage for the month they applied, not any time prior that they may have met the eligibility criteria.

This new policy will remain effective until June 30th, unless state lawmakers vote to extend this big change.

How might this affect you?

The state’s goal in making this huge change is to encourage people to apply for coverage as soon as possible after the finding or diagnosis that triggers Medicaid eligibility.

This change will have a substantial impact on many residents of Florida and providers who serve them because often when people become eligible for Medicaid coverage, they are not healthy enough to quickly file an application or find the process difficult to understand. Also, the application requires a large amount of documentation that can take weeks to prepare.  Under this new change, time spent without Medicaid approval can result in extensive medical bills that the applicant may not have the funds to cover, especially if they are Medicaid eligible.

What do I need to do?

It is now imperative that Florida residents who qualify for Medicaid coverage apply immediately.  Any costs associated with services provided during months prior to the application date will be the responsibly of the applicant.  All individuals and providers that work with potential Medicaid eligible individuals and families should encourage people to promptly contact a highly knowledgeable Attorney or organization that can help with their application. This is especially important since the time to file an application is substantially shorter, and even more urgent for people who become ill at the end of a month.

Our Team of experienced and compassionate Elder Law Attorneys and Medicaid Specialists are glad to assist with this process. Call 407-574-8125 to get assistance with your Medicaid Eligibility or the eligibility of families you serve.

*Note this change does not apply to pregnant woman, including the 60 day period beginning on the last day of pregnancy, or a beneficiary under age 21.