FLORIDA: ‘ FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO LINK FUNDING FOR CHARITY CARE TO STATE EXPANDED MEDICAID COVERAGE ‘

#AceFinanceNews – Featured Report – FLORIDA:May.06: In

a face-off with Florida, the federal government said it would link funding for charity care to whether a state has expanded Medicaid coverage.

The policy shift will affect several other states.

The federal government is quietly warning states that failure to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act could imperil billions in federal subsidies for hospitals and doctors who care for the poor.

In an April 14 letter to Florida Medicaid director Justin Senior, Vikki Wachino, acting director of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wrote: “Uncompensated care pool funding should not pay for costs that would be covered in a Medicaid expansion.”

Medicaid is the joint federal-state government health insurance program for the poor. Under the Affordable Care Act, states can choose to expand coverage to more people, with the federal government paying the entire costs of expansion through next year.

Florida has asked CMS to renew $1.3 billion in federal funding for its 2016 “low-income pool,” even though the state has rejected Medicaid expansion. CMS maintains that any extension must take into account the more than 800,000 residents whose medical bills would be covered by Medicaid were the state to expand the program.

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