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Policy: Entitlements

Feds grant Florida 3-year Medicaid renewal

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Associated Press,Florida,Health Care,Medicare and Medicaid,Entitlements,Budgets and Deficits

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The federal government has granted a three-year renewal of Florida's Medicaid managed care program.

About 3 million Floridians — more than half are children — are enrolled in the program, which has been rolling out statewide over the past few months.

Under Medicaid privatization, the state gives insurance companies a set amount of money each month for patient care, giving the insurer broad authority to decide which doctors they can see and what treatments can be prescribed.

The initial waiver from the federal government only lasts for three years. This will allow the program to continue through 2017. State health officials predict privatization will save$2 billion over the three year waiver period.

Privatization has been a sticking point with the feds because Florida lawmakers chose not to expand Medicaid to an additional roughly 1 million Floridians under the Affordable Care Act.

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