NewsFlorida News

Actions

Florida mom left with no answers on Medicaid as her child waits for treatment

Bryan WFTS.jpg
Posted at 5:32 PM, May 02, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The state Department of Children and Families is currently re-evaluating 5.5 million Medicaid accounts to determine who still qualifies and who needs to be removed.

This is happening one month after benefits that were enacted at the height of the pandemic expired and now the effects are being felt. For some recipients, the waiting has turned into a nightmare.

For Liz Adams, in the last 24 hours, she was informed her two kids were dropped from Medicaid. The news also came a day before her 7-year-old son, Bryan, was set to have a biopsy procedure. He's currently in remission from leukemia.

"I am mad. I am mad at how they can do this to a child," Adams said.

Adams said she never received a letter, call, or any other form of communication from DCF about being dropped or the potential of being dropped. She said she's used Medicaid for seven years for her children and said while they were dropped, she still has coverage.

Now, she needs it more than ever with a sick child and said she's getting nowhere.

"No one else I can talk to; not even the doctor's offices can do anything. They're like, we can tell them that it's absolutely necessary that he needs medical treatment but we can't make them give you your insurance back," Adams said.

Katie Roders Turner is hoping she can help people like Adams. Turner is the executive director of Family Healthcare Foundation. She and her staff help those who are now in uncharted territory with the redetermination regulations of Medicaid.

"This is something that we have never experienced before," Turner said.

Thanks to a partnership with the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, additional staff has been added to help navigate Medicaid applications or what other resources are available if a person is no longer eligible for free healthcare.

"Family healthcare navigators will help with Florida Medicaid, Florida Kid Care, the health insurance marketplace, the Hillsborough County healthcare plan, or connect them to other resources that will help with safety net services," Turner said.

Turner strongly recommended updating the contact information in DCF's access account and any mail from the department. If a person prefers one-on-one help or an advocate, they can visit any one of the seven locations at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County.

As for Adams, she will continue to fight for her children and their coverage.

Family Healthcare Foundation will hold a Facebook Live stream on Thursday, May 4 at 5:30 to discuss the changes in Medicaid.