Bumpy Start to Medicaid Managed Care

May 1, 2014

It’s May 1, and a host of counties are now part of a new Florida Medicaid program that includes almost all recipients. That has led to a lot of confusion, starting with transportation.


Private transportation companies that have provided low-cost rides are telling some seniors they will do not have contracts with the new insurance companies now part of the Managed Medical Assistance services, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. The low-cost rides are the way some beneficiaries get to and from the doctor.

Over the next several months, an estimated 3.5 million Floridians with Medicaid will transition into the managed care system. Regions 2, 3 and 4 – which includes part of the Panhandle, Northeast and North Central Florida – starts under the new system today, according to the Star-Banner.  

Justin Senior, the Agency for Health Care Administration deputy secretary for Medicaid, said about 25 percent of the 234,399 Medicaid recipients in Region 3 have chosen a plan, the Star-Banner reports.

In total, 85 percent of the state's 3.5 million Medicaid recipients will be affected by the change, ACHA says. Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida regions are the next to make the transition, on June 1. Miami-Dade and Broward Counties will roll out on July 1. The Space and Treasure Coast regions are the final part of the transition, making the move on August 1.

An earlier managed care transition, for Medicaid's Long-Term Care population, was not without its rough spots and concerns about lapses in coverage. An ACHA press release on Thursday emphasized that patients and providers be diligent so no one loses services during a 60-day "continuity of care" period.

“One of our biggest focuses moving forward is ensuring that recipients are able to transition to the MMA program without missing any appointments, treatments, or prescriptions,” Senior said in the press release. 

“We want to make sure that providers, whether they are in the managed care network or not, know that they should honor appointments and prescriptions in the weeks immediately following the roll-out date and that plans will pay providers for these services in a timely manner.”