Florida Health Justice Project (FHJP) Releases Video for Helping 19-20 Year Olds at Risk of Losing Medicaid
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 22, 2022
Media Contact: Miriam Harmatz, Esq., Advocacy Director and Founder
Florida Health Justice Project, (786)-853-9385, email@example.com
(MIAMI) – Throughout the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), states have provided continuous Medicaid coverage in exchange for increased federal funding. Thus, even individuals who no longer meet technical eligibility requirements for the state’s Medicaid program have remained insured. This ongoing coverage provision has been a critical benefit for Florida residents who have relied on Medicaid during the pandemic, and the increased federal funding far exceeded the state’s additional costs in providing coverage.
However, the ongoing Medicaid coverage provision will be ending in 2023. At that time, millions of Floridians, including children, parents, seniors and persons with disabilities are at risk of coverage loss or interruption. Among those most at risk are the hundreds of thousands of parents & caregivers, along with 19-20 year old youth, who will no longer be eligible for Medicaid when the state returns to normal operations.
“While many of the parents and caregivers will lose their current Medicaid given Florida’s meager income limits and lack of Medicaid expansion, 19 and 20 years olds can retain their Medicaid in special circumstances”, explained Miriam Harmatz, FHJP Advocacy Director and co-creator of the video, along with Jay Jefferson, FHJP’s Multimedia Specialist, “but there is an urgent need for outreach and education.” This is why FHJP has just released a video explaining the complex considerations facing 19 and 20 year olds.
This is the second training video and materials prepared for legal services staff, navigators, health care providers and others who will be assisting Florida Medicaid recipients after the continuous coverage requirement ends.
Earlier this year, FHJP released an overview video explaining the structure of Florida’s Medicaid program, including who is eligible for coverage and how to determine the income eligibility for different family members, as well as explaining why so many of Florida's parents and caregivers are likely to lose Medicaid after the continuous coverage requirement ends.
The overview video received rave reviews. “The PHE unwinding video that the Florida Health Justice Project created is by far the clearest, most useful informational tool that I have seen on the Public Health Emergency unwinding;” said Islara Souto, formerly Lead Navigator at Epilepsy Alliance of Florida. “It is a wealth of knowledge on all things related to the unwinding, including risk groups, cheat sheets, income levels and locating assistance. I have shared the video far and wide and will be implementing it as a learning resource for my navigators.”
“The Florida Health Justice Project's video and accompanying materials: ‘Preparing for the Public Health Emergency's 'Unwind' of Continuous Medicaid Coverage’ has been incredibly helpful to me as a lawyer who routinely works with families with these concerns;” said Stephen Pitel, Staff Attorney at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s Medical Legal Partnership. “The video provided me with a quick update on where things stand with Medicaid and the Public Health Emergency and what I need to know when talking to affected individuals about their options and how to prepare for the eventual end of the emergency. The accompanying materials are also helpful as a resource tool. I have shared the materials with the numerous social workers with whom I work closely so that they can also use it when they are discussing these issues with families.”
“These videos, along with our other educational materials on PHE related website exemplify our mission and work,” Harmatz said. “Through collaboration with local, state and national partners, we’re providing essential resources for Florida’s legal aid staff, navigators, social service and health providers and pro bono advocates who will be helping low income children, youth, parents and persons with disabilities maintain health care.
Florida Health Justice Project (FHJP) recognizes that access to quality and affordable health care is a human right and engages in comprehensive advocacy to expand healthcare access and promote health equity for Florida’s most vulnerable and marginalized residents. www.floridahealthjustice.org
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