Under the Affordable Care Act, nearly all U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (who did not already have insurance) were entitled to either assistance paying for health insurance through the marketplace or enrollment in an expanded Medicaid program. However, in 2012, the United States Supreme Court held that states were not required to accept federal funding to expand their Medicaid programs, and to date, the Florida Legislature has chosen not to.
This has resulted in approximately 750,000 Floridians, and 150,000 Miami-Dade County residents falling into the “Coverage Gap.” In essence, these people are too poor to be eligible for the federal subsidy help to purchase coverage on the marketplace and yet are not eligible for Florida’s extremely limited Medicaid program for adults.
This project will address this problem in multiple ways. First, we will identify county residents who fall into the “Coverage Gap.” In collaboration with the Community Justice Project (CJP), which supports local grassroots work in Miami, we will enable county residents in the Gap to engage in state level advocacy to expand Medicaid. In addition, we will continue our advocacy related to Miami’s existing safety-net system. Until the Legislature accepts expansion funding, it is critical that county residents have access to health care services, regardless of their ability to pay. Furthermore, our clients’ stories will inform our policy briefs and analysis papers that are used by elected officials, key community stakeholders, media networks, and the public to understand how failing to accept the federal funds adversely impacts Miami-Dade County residents.