Health Reform Strategies: Florida’s Medicaid Program


The state of Florida was one of the last ones that adopted the Medicaid program. Florida joined Medicaid in 1970, which was on average four years later than the majority of states (Norris, 2017). The latest alterations to the program were offered in 2013. The state is now doing its best to adhere to the necessary requirements and provide its citizens with high-quality care.

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The rationale behind the reform’s adoption is making access to health care simpler for underserved populations. Frequently, such groups of citizens as the elderly, the disabled, children, the homeless, and some others cannot afford the insurance. For these people, the program was adopted. Florida’s Medicaid is aimed at providing eligible individuals with healthcare opportunities. The adoption of the reform was associated with serious financial issues. In particular, from 1980 till 2004, the state’s expenditures on Medicaid grew by 13.5% each year (Norris, 2017). Such a tendency was quite threatening, and the situation required some professional intrusion. As a result of combined efforts, Florida applied for the 1115 waiver for the Medicaid reform. After the approval of the pilot project, two counties experienced positive results in 2006 (Norris, 2017). Three more counties reported beneficial outcomes in 2007. In the last ten years, the waiver has been improved several times.

Currently, as many as 75% of the state’s Medicaid beneficiaries are involved in a variety of managed care plans. Five years ago, the federal government approved the expansion of managed care amendment (Norris, 2017). In accordance with the change, the program’s name was altered to Managed Medical Assistance. There are several waivers in Florida that include the following aspects:

  • iBudget Florida;
  • familial dysautonomia;
  • assisted living for the elderly;
  • Alzheimer disease campaign;
  • AIDS care;
  • model waiver (“Florida Medicaid waiver,” n.d.).

The mentioned waivers were developed to promote access to care for individuals with particular needs. For instance, the model waiver helps eligible young people under 21 suffering from a degenerative spinocerebellar disease (“Model waiver,” 2017). The aim of another waiver, iBudget, is to provide proper home-based and community-based support to eligible persons with developmental issues (“Developmental disabilities individual budgeting (iBudget) waiver,” 2017). These and other waivers are carefully crafted to make healthcare opportunities more accessible for those who need them most.

Funding Structure

Florida’s budget is $74 billion. Out of it, 65% ($48 billion) is provided by the state funds, and 35% ($25 billion) is provided by the federal funds (Chester, 2015). The total sum of money allocated to the Medicaid program in 2014 was $23 billion. Thus, it has been calculated that 20% of the state’s budget is spent on Medicaid (Chester, 2015). The budget is considerably smaller than other projects in Florida receive. Florida’s Medicaid is governed by the state and federal government.

Impact on Health Care

The most obvious positive effect of Florida’s Medicaid is the opportunity to receive high-quality care given to uninsured citizens. The program has three key objectives: the increased patient satisfaction, the improvement of citizens’ health, and the elimination of healthcare services cost. With the help of this reform, a large number of people from underserved groups can get access to necessary healthcare opportunities.


Florida Medicaid is one of the most crucial healthcare reforms of the state. Many people who cannot obtain insurance can enhance their health through the options provided by Medicaid. A variety of waivers are aimed at increasing possibilities for disabled population groups as well as those that do not have enough money to receive high-quality medical services. The state should strive to develop Medicaid options to improve the population’s healthcare options.

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Chester, A. (2015). Florida’s Medicaid budget: Just the facts. Web.

Developmental disabilities individual budgeting (iBudget) waiver. (2017). Web.

Florida Medicaid waiver. (n.d.). Web.

Model waiver. (2017). Web.

Norris, L. (2017). Florida and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Web.

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