Florida To Expand Medicaid Insurance Pilot Program

Armen Hareyan's picture

Florida lawmakers on Wednesday addedlanguage to a state budget companion bill (HB 5085) that would expand aMedicaid pilot program that shifts some beneficiaries to private managed careplans, such as health maintenance organizations, the MiamiHerald reports. The bill seeks to expand the pilot program to nineadditional counties in 2010.

Critics of the pilot program say that many beneficiaries have had difficultyfinding a health plan that meets their needs and that it is not clear theprogram saved money or improved care. The state Agency for Health Care Administration had said it would not ask lawmakersto expand the program this year, after the agency's inspector generalacknowledged problems with the pilot.

However, the agency's new secretary,Holly Benson, supports expanding the Medicaid overhaul more quickly, and stateReps. Bill Galvano (R) and Aaron Bean (R) are pushing for further expansion ofthe program. Galvano said officials are learning from the pilot program andwill make adjustments accordingly (Royse, Miami Herald, 4/9).

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