By Daylina Miller
A new report says Florida could save nearly $200 million in fiscal year 2022-23 by expanding the Medicaid program.
The state gets a 61% federal match rate for state dollars spent on Medicaid. Expanding the program to adults with household income up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or $29,435 for a family of three, would give Florida access to a 90 percent federal match rate under the Affordable Care Act. That's $9 for every $1 the state invests in expansion.
The additional $4 billion the state would get from the federal government “really provides our state an unprecedented opportunity for budget savings and revenue gains, that are going to more than offset the cost of expansion,” said Anne Swerlick, a health policy analyst and attorney with the Florida Policy Institute.
She also said that in the 36 states that have expanded Medicaid, people get better medical care and rack up less debt.
"Beyond all that, the research is also showing that these states that are going down this path are saving millions of dollars, and they're saving it not only in their Medicaid programs, but also in other parts of the budget."
Swerlick said federal dollars could replace millions of state dollars currently spent on state mental health and substance abuse services, hospital inpatient care for prisoners, and state and local dollars spent for uncompensated care.
“Our state could close the health care coverage gap for hundreds of thousands of parents, people with
disabilities, and residents who are struggling to get by on extremely low incomes, all while bringing home billions more in federal dollars,” Sadaf Knight, CEO of FPI, said in a news release.
“Thirty-six states chose to expand Medicaid and realize these benefits, and multiple studies have shown how expansion increases access to affordable health care, improves health and financial security for families, and positively impacts state and local economies.”
The report also shows that health insurance premiums in expansion states is about 7% lower than the non-expansion states.
Current Medicaid coverage groups that would benefit from higher federal match rates include the medically needy, pregnant women and adults with disabilities.
Read the full report here.