Medicaid

Creative Commons of Charles Bell's Anatomy of the Brain, c. 1802 / Flickr user Shaheen Lakhan

  This month, Florida became the first state to offer a Medicaid plan dedicated to people who are diagnosed with severe mental health disorders.

It’s part of a larger move by the state’s Medicaid officials to move coverage towards a managed care system. It means one organization takes care of and coordinates all of a person’s health care needs: no more separate dental, vision, and internal medicine plans.

Mental health issues are almost twice as prevalent among Medicaid recipients than in the general population.

freedigitalphotos.net

The campaign to expand Medicaid for Florida's uninsured poor continued in Tallahassee last week with a mass lobby conducted by doctors and nurses from Miami's Jackson Hospital. They went from office to office in the Capitol seeking legislative support, but got basically nowhere.

Hear the full story:

Gina Jordan/WLRN

March 4 marks the start of the 2014 Florida Legislative session at the Capitol. It runs through May 2.

For two months, lawmakers will consider proposed legislation on everything from marijuana to red-light cameras.

All they really have to do is come up with a spending plan for the fiscal year that begins in July.  Gov. Rick Scott is recommending half a billion dollars in tax and fee cuts.

HECTOR GABINO / EL NUEVO HERALD

International soccer star David Beckham says the only thing keeping pro soccer from Miami is a stadium. That is indeed a challenge. While Beckham has said he doesn’t want “public funding,” his group has hired a Tallahassee lobbyist to pursue to a sales-tax subsidy, and it’s unclear if he’ll pay market rate for any public site.  

President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

New Medicaid Managed Care System Expands To South Florida

Aug 30, 2013
medicaid.gov

Thousands of low-income seniors in Southwest Florida and areas of the East Coast are poised this weekend to become part of the state's long-debated shift to a Medicaid managed-care system.

The change, which will take effect Sunday, will involve an estimated 13,450 people in 12 counties who need long-term care --- most of them seniors. It is part of a gradual move that ultimately will lead to almost all Florida Medicaid beneficiaries enrolling in HMOs or other types of managed-care plans.

Curtains Open On Medicaid Managed Care In Florida

Jul 31, 2013
medicaid.gov

More than two years after Florida lawmakers passed a controversial plan to transform the Medicaid system, it's showtime.

As of Thursday, about 9,300 central Florida residents who need long-term care --- the vast majority of them seniors --- will become the first participants in a statewide move to enroll almost all Medicaid beneficiaries in HMOs and other types of managed-care plans.

Insurance Giant Humana To Buy Key Player In Medicaid Program

Jul 25, 2013
medicaid.gov

As Florida prepares to move forward next month with shifting thousands of seniors into Medicaid managed-care plans, Humana, Inc., announced that it will buy a major player in the program.

The biggest changes in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin less than three months from now. Oct. 1 is when people can start signing up for coverage in new state health exchanges. The policies would kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.

It can all be a little confusing, we agree. So two weeks ago, we asked what you wanted to know about the health law.

Outreach For New Health Insurance Exchanges Targets Latinos

Jun 25, 2013

Andrea Velandia, 29, is just the sort of person the architects of the new health insurance marketplaces had in mind when they were thinking about future customers.

She's young, in good health, uninsured and Latino.

"We're very healthy. We don't have many issues," she says of her family. For the most part, she and her husband avoid the health system. "It's very expensive to go to the doctor to get a regular checkup," she says. "And you only have an option to go to the emergency room, which is even more expensive."

When the blood pressure drug Bystolic hit the market in 2008, it faced a crowded field of cheap generics.

So its maker, Forest Laboratories, launched a promotional assault on the group in the best position to determine Bystolic's success: those in control of prescription pads. It flooded the offices of health professionals with drug reps, and it hired doctors to persuade their peers to choose Bystolic — even though the drug hadn't proved more effective than competitors.

Who's going to be more successful at selling health insurance to young men this fall: NBA MVP LeBron James, NFL rookie of the year Robert Griffin III, or Mom? If officials at the Department of Health and Human Services get their way, all may be drafted.

This weekend marks 100 days until people can begin signing up for new health insurance coverage under the federal health care law. It also marks another milestone: the launch of an enormous public relations effort to find people eligible for new coverage and urge them to sign up when the time comes.

But like everything else about the health law, even this seemingly innocuous effort has been touched by controversy.

What Tallahassee Lawmakers Failed To Do in 2013

May 7, 2013
Wikipedia

Editor's Note: Be sure to check out an interactive bill tracker of this year's session from the Miami Herald.

It's curtains for Session 2013 in Tallahassee but a feeling persists that not much was accomplished during the last two months.

Dolphins Stadium

Here in South Florida, the clock ran out on the Miami Dolphins' 2-minute drill for state help on renovations to Sun Life Stadium.

Twitter

Speaker Will Weatherford introduced a new member of the Florida House this week.

“Members, we have an auto-reader. We had it in the closet just in case we ever had to actually read the bills,” Weatherford said amid laughs from the chamber. “It may be a little bit faster than normal.”

Weatherford's communications director announced on Twitter that the auto-reader's name is Mary.

Within an hour of her debut, Mary had her own Twitter handle - @HouseAutoReader. Some of her tweets include “I'm so bored” and “Anybody have a cure for the hiccups?”

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