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    Christina’s 4 minor children are clearly eligible for Medicaid. And yet they were terminated twice for allegedly not “renewing on time.”

  • Christina’s kids range in age from 6 to 16 and, based on their family’s income, all are clearly eligible for Medicaid. But since they were first terminated on July 19, this single mom with no income and serious health issues has spent the last 3 months in a DCF quagmire dealing with confusing and erroneous notices, a dysfunctional call center and ill-informed staff.


    The quagmire began on June 19, 2023, when DCF sent Christina a notice that she had to complete the family’s Medicaid renewal by July 15, 2023. On its face, this notice violates the Medicaid regulation requiring that states must allow people at least 30 days to respond to the renewal request. And, indeed, Christina timely completed her family’s Medicaid renewal on July 19, 2023. But on the same day, DCF issued a notice terminating Medicaid for the family. The reason given was that they “failed to follow through with Medicaid renewal.”


    The kids should have been reinstated immediately. But it took over a month before DCF did so. On August 29, DCF sent Christina an utterly confusing and inconsistent 16 page notice. After first stating that her application dated July 19 was approved, it then listed all the children as “ineligible,” with only Christina listed as “eligible.” The next page then said she was recently found ineligible for Medicaid and was in a special Medicaid program that provides family planning services. The notice then goes on to say that the children were not eligible for Medicaid or Medically needy multiple times. Finally, on page 12, the notice states that the children are eligible for Medicaid.


    But then on September 18, 2023, she was sent another notice that the children’s Medicaid would end on September 30. The reason given was that ”YOU FAILED TO COMPLETE OR FOLLOW THROUGH WITH YOUR MEDICAID RENEWAL.”


    Shockingly, Christina’s kids lost their coverage at the end of September and were not reinstated until October 27. Christina had no income; the family’s only income was child support. Christina knew the notice was incorrect and tried to alert DCF to their error. That experience has been beyond frustrating.

    “I tried calling the customer service line multiple times and was hung up on repeatedly by their automated system as soon as I put my social security number in,” Christina explained. “When going to the DCF office, I was told I had to reapply. I told them I had already renewed…. I was then told that I had renewed too early. WHAT?!?

  • In October, Christina re-applied for Medicaid for both herself and her 4 children. Finally, on October 27, Christina received a notice that her kids had been reinstated. And, while their coverage was correctly applied retroactively, she described what it was like to have her kids go without health insurance due to DCF’s clear errors and agonizingly slow fixes.


    All of her kids have health issues and need insurance, including her 13 year old son who, after 4 different medications for ADHD, finally got on one that worked. “I knew stopping my son’s ADHD medication abruptly would put my his mental and physical health in jeopardy and make it much more difficult for him to succeed in school. Fortunately, a family member stepped in to pay for the medications, while I worked to get my children’s health coverage reinstated.” Christina said.


    It’s hard enough to hold everything together without my children losing their health insurance for no legitimate reason. I did everything I was supposed to do but the state still pulled the rug out from under us– not once but twice. I live in fear that it will happen again,” she added.


    “I love my children and am doing all that I can to help them grow up to be healthy, successful adults. I’m their mom, it’s my job to protect them.”


    Stay tuned for part 2 where Christina describes the ongoing frustration in getting her own Medicaid reinstated.

    *Stock Photo

  • Read STORIES Of Other Floridians

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  • We are grateful to the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) for their support of the

    "Medicaid | The Lived Experience" STORIES Project.

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