The Public Health Emergency (PHE) and Extended Medicaid Coverage:
What will happen to parents & caregivers whose youngest child turned 18 after the PHE?
Background: During the national COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), which began in
March 2020 and is still on-going, almost no one on Medicaid can lose coverage. Thus, many
Medicaid beneficiaries who are no longer technically eligible have stayed covered. However,
after the federal government declares that the PHE has ended, Florida will begin returning to
normal Medicaid redeterminations and eligibility rules. At that time, beneficiaries who are no
longer eligible for Medicaid under any coverage category will lose Medicaid.
One example is low-income parents who no longer have a child under age 18. Under normal
Medicaid rules, if you qualified for Medicaid as a low-income parent, your Medicaid eligibility
ends when you no longer have a(ny) minor child(ren).
For example, Angela, a grandparent, lost her job and enrolled herself and her youngest
grandchild, Hugo, in Medicaid in April 2020. Hugo turned 18 in May 2022. Because Angela is no
longer taking care of any minor children, she is no longer “technically eligible” for Medicaid
coverage as a low-income parent/caregiver. However, under the PHE’s continuous Medicaid
coverage protection, she still has Medicaid.
What will happen to parents & caregivers who no longer have any minor children? The
Department of Children and Families (DCF) will look at their case to see if the parent is eligible
for a different type of Medicaid. There are different groups of people who may be eligible for
Medicaid and if they lose coverage under their current type of coverage, they may be eligible for
another type of coverage. Angela, for example, might still be eligible if she is taking care of a
niece or nephew under 18; or if she is pregnant or disabled.
Also, if the parent/caregiver losing Medicaid coverage is a woman under age 56 whose family
income is below 191 percent of the federal poverty level (about $ 2900 for a family of 2), she is
eligible for enrollment in the Medicaid Family Planning Waiver Program.
Additionally, many parents whose income now makes them ineligible for Medicaid, will be
eligible for subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace, and local “navigators” are
available to help people understand their options and enroll in a new low cost health care plan.
Click here in order to find contact information for local navigator programs administered by
What are some things you can do before the PHE ends?
● If you are receiving family-related Medicaid, and you are disabled: You should apply
for benefits with the Social Security Administration. Here is information on applying.
● Create an online account with DCF here, and make sure all your information is updated.
● You might be eligible for insurance in the federal ACA Marketplace.
(“Obamacare”). Contact your local navigator program for help. Click here in order
to find contact information for local navigator programs administered by Covering
● Medicaid is complicated! The Florida Health Justice Project will be providing
updated information about what happens regarding Medicaid eligibility after the
● Please check our PHE and Extended Medicaid web page for updates.
Download PDF version here
For questions, please contact Miriam Harmatz, Katy DeBriere or Alison Yager,
Last updated July, 2022