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    Duval County, FL


    DCF terminated Medicaid coverage for Tanya and her entire family saying that she had not completed her renewal application, even though she had done so nine days before the coverage was due to end.


  • Tanya is the proud mother of 10 children. She was a working mom for many years, but in the last few years she has faced serious health problems including auto-immune anemia, Crohn’s disease, and most recently, cancer. Tanya is now on long-term disability through her former employer. One of Tanya’s children, who just turned 19, also has special needs and was previously determined to be disabled.


    Tanya and her family have relied upon Medicaid before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This insurance was particularly critical in providing Tanya with coverage for life-saving transfusions and surgeries.


    Tanya has conducted Medicaid renewals for her children for 17 years, so this is not a new process for her. She has always understood that she needed to complete the renewal before the coverage expired in order to avoid a disruption in coverage. So when she received a notice in May 2023 saying that June 2023 would be her last month for coverage unless she reapplied, she thought she had until the end of June to submit her renewal. But on June 19, 2023, she received a notice saying that because she hadn’t completed the renewal, her whole family would lose coverage as of June 30, 2023. She submitted her renewal as quickly as she could, on June 21, 2023. She even wrote on the application “I AM CRITICALLY ILL AND NEED BLOOD TRANSFUSION AND NECK SURGERY BUT UNABLE TO GO TO DOCTORS WITHOUT INSURANCE.” After that she kept checking her Access account to see if the renewal was processed, but her account didn’t even show that the renewal materials were received. The account did say that if she returned all the information by September 30, 2023, her eligibility would be redetermined–so she thought the family would be able to keep its coverage.


    But on June 30th, the whole family was terminated from Medicaid. Tanya called DCF and waited 2 hours and 15 minutes to speak to a representative. That person said she had to speak to a senior representative, causing her to wait on hold for 2 more hours. The DCF representative told her that the renewal was incomplete because she needed to provide proof of residency, even though DCF has had that information for as long as the family has been on Medicaid. Nonetheless, she immediately provided the proof requested. As of late-July 2023, her account is still showing no coverage for any family member.



    “I had always completed renewals before the coverage expired, and never had a problem. So I was shocked that even though I turned in the renewal paperwork on June 21st, my whole family lost Medicaid coverage on June 30th. Without the blood transfusion and surgery that I need, and the mental health care my daughter needs, I’m worried our situation is only going to get worse.”

  • Tanya and her daughter both risk serious complications from being unable to receive important health treatments. Tanya had to pay out-of-pocket to see a doctor at the cancer center and get bloodwork done; she also needs referrals to specialists which she cannot get without insurance. And Tanya’s 19-year-old daughter is also no longer receiving the treatments she needs.


  • Read STORIES Of Other Floridians

    Relying On Medicaid





    Former Foster

    Care Children

    Seniors and People With Disabilities

  • 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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