The old Florida capitol (Pic by Diligent Terrier, via Wikimedia Commons)

A coalition of 30 advocacy groups for elder issues has sent a letter to the federal government requesting that the state’s request to expand its Medicaid Reform Pilot program statewide be denied. The groups fear the expansion will affect health care access for disabled elder Floridians.

The group writes:

As advocates for older adults and individuals with disabilities, we are concerned with the proposal to overhaul the state long-term services and supports (LTSS) delivery system based on a failed five-county managed care demonstration. The demonstration did not include the state’s most frail and vulnerable residents, the LTSS population; therefore it is not justified to serve as a model for statewide expansion.

Despite this, the waiver the state proposes would require these vulnerable Medicaid beneficiaries to receive their nursing home, hospice, and home and community-based care through private managed care plans.

The request before you is the most expansive in the nation, and the state has not proven that such a system will safely and effectively serve older and disabled Floridians.

Advocates for elder and disabled populations in the state have long protested the state’s plans. While the state agency in charge of implementing the Medicaid bill was traveling the state, much of the opposition it encountered came from folks representing older populations.

The federal government still has not approved the statewide program. However, it did recently approve a continuation of the Medicaid Reform Pilot programs located in a handful of counties.

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