Nearly half of Floridians disenrolled from Medicaid are under the age of 20

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — State Medicaid reports show over half a million Floridians were disenrolled from Medicaid coverage in a four-month time span this year. Nearly half of those disenrolled are children.

It’s in part because federal provisions, which allowed low-income families to keep their health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, ended. In April, Florida started their “unwinding process.”

According to monthly reports from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, 524,076 Floridians were disenrolled from Medicaid coverage between April to August. Over 257,901 of those were under the age of 20.

Central Florida communities are already seeing the effects.


In Orange County, there were over 20,000 fewer children on Medicaid in August compared to April --when the state’s Medicaid unwinding process began. It’s nearly a 10 percent decrease in kids covered by Medicaid in the county.

Dr. Candice Jones, pediatrician at Orange Blossom Pediatrics, says she personally has seen an increase in the number of patients who are uninsured.

She says this particularly affects children who need to also see a specialist.

“When those kids don’t have insurance, those visits and the care, the medications, the ongoing care can be astronomical in price. Whereas if they had their Medicaid or their health insurance, they just may pay a small copay, and they have that referral, have access to those specialists,” Jones said.

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Orange County is seeing the fourth-highest loss in Medicaid coverage among children behind Miami-Dade County, Broward and Hillsborough.

In a statement Friday, House Democrats called for the Governor to pause the Medicaid disenrollment process. They also released an analysis of the state’s numbers Friday. House Minority Leader Rep. Fentrice Driskell said they found several children are being disenrolled for “procedural reasons”--including if the state cannot get in contact with them because they moved, or their phone number changed.

“It does seem like the state is just not able to handle the capacity. And perhaps the folks who are working at these call centers could use some extra training to make sure that they are handling this Medicaid population in the most sensitive and caring way possible,” Driskell said.

House Democrats say they’re asking the DeSantis administration to expand the customer call centers and provide additional training to staff to help Floridians maintain health coverage.

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Jones said there are clinics like Orange Blossom Pediatrics that don’t turn away patients if they’re uninsured.

Jones added that if you are on Medicaid to make sure to check your mail and communication from the state.

If you get a letter from the state saying you’ve been disenrolled or about to be disenrolled, Jones said to make sure and call AHCA or the Department for Children and Families to find out your options.

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We reached out to AHCA for comment.

It pointed us to comments the AHCA Secretary and DCF Secretary made in a recent op-ed that said in part: “When someone is disenrolled for procedural reasons, it is because they failed to respond to our initial request for information or our follow-up requests for supporting documentation.”

They claim 13 attempts were made to get that information.

They also said some kids may be eligible for low-cost options through the Florida Healthy Kids program if they don’t meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.

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