TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – A landmark Medicaid overhaul bill got the stamp of approval from Governor Rick Scott Thursday.
The two bill package (HB 7107 and HB 7109) calls for shifting hundreds of thousands of low-income and elderly Floridians into managed-care health plans, according to The News Service of Florida.
The signing comes as no surprise, as the Governor has made it know that he aimed to transform the Medicaid system.
The next hurdle would be to convince the federal government to follow suit.
Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration is required to submit a proposal to federal Medicaid officials by August first, with public hearings beginning June 10, 2012.
If the overhaul is approved by the federal government, AHCA would move forward with mandatory implementation of a managed care program for senior who need long term care by October 2013.
In addition to the managed care for seniors, another plan to broaden the program to low income women and children would conclude by October 2014
The bills weren’t without opposition. Democratic lawmakers and some patient argue that relying on HMOs and other types of managed care plans could negatively affect needed serviced for Medicaid beneficiaries.
The two bills were passed on the final day of the 2011 legislative session.
Also signed late Thursday was the first in a series of controversial bills dealing with abortion.
HB 97 would ban abortion coverage if insurance policies were sold through health-insurance exchange, a so-called insurance marketplace that would start operating in 2014 as part of the 2010 federal health law.
Scott also approved the HB 1193 measure which wouldn’t compel people to buy health insurance under the federal health care law, except in limited circumstances.
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