Florida Lawmakers Put Elderly on “Wait List”

Medicaid Managed Care in Florida

A recent article published by the News Service of Florida points out that new Florida legislation enacted to “improve” care for seniors, will actually lead to more of the same…a wait list for the elderly in Florida.

The Medicaid Managed Care program has been touted as helping florida seniors, and already they are talking about the wait lists that seniors will need to be on for “home and community based” services.  There are 10,000 people on the waiting list for home-based programs and only a couple thousand slots.  Lawmakers are worried about people coming out of the “woodwork” to receive Medicaid benefits who could otherwise be taken care of by their families.

I think some of our lawmakers are living in la-la land, out of touch with the reality of what their constituents are going through and really need. When you add on the high unemployment rate Floridians face, many cannot provide for themselves, let alone an elderly or ailing family member.  How are you supposed to keep seniors in their homes if the program that is supposed to help has more people on a waiting list than there are slots?

It is imperative that lawmakers find a real solution for Florida seniors.  Instead of calling for and enacting a “massive overhaul” to Florida’s Medicaid system, lawmakers should have spent more time examining the risks of potential outcomes.  Unfortunately, we now have Florida’s seniors and their care once again…on hold.

 

Laurie Ohall is a Tampa Bay area Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney.  To learn more about Florida Elder Law, Medicaid Laws,  and issues affecting seniors, please contact the Law Offices of Laurie Ohall.