Recent Changes in Health Policy for Low-Income People in Florida

Research Report

Recent Changes in Health Policy for Low-Income People in Florida

April 1, 2002

Abstract

Florida responded to its Medicaid budget crisis with innovative cost-control initiatives, such as its pioneering preferred drug list program. Questions surround the state's ability to realize these cost-savings given the state's rocky experience with cost-control programs in the past. Florida reduced uninsurance rates among children by expanding coverage through the SCHIP program and actively promoting the program. Uninsurance rates for adults remained relatively high because of the low levels of employer sponsored coverage and few options for adults to access basic coverage. Florida dramatically increased funding for home- and community-based services for persons with developmental disabilities. The state addressed the troubles facing the nursing home industry by increasing quality of care requirements and implementing controversial tort reform laws that limit the punitive damages nursing homes have to pay if found guilty of misconduct.

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