Florida Medicaid privatization underway statewide

MIAMI -- More than three million Medicaid recipients around the state are transitioning into managed care under Florida's massive overhaul to privatize its Medicaid program.

The change comes three years after the Legislature voted to privatize the program, saying the $23 billion a year bill was consuming the budget. Enrollment for the majority of Medicaid recipients, more than half of whom are children, started in South Florida Tuesday and has completed in 54 of 67 counties. The long term care population, which includes those 65 and over who reside in nursing homes, recently completed enrollment.

Florida's Medicaid program also has national significance. The Sunshine State is one of the first to enroll the more vulnerable long-term care group. Experts say this was also the first time federal officials required certain oversight components.

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