Health Affairs Article: Florida’s Medicaid Reform: Informed Consumer Choice?

Health Affairs Article: Florida's Medicaid Reform: Informed Consumer Choice?

Florida's Medicaid reform program aims to encourage consumer choice and market competition by giving health plans new authority to vary benefits and having enrollees choose among the different plans. However, about three in 10 enrollees were not aware that they needed to make this health plan choice and over half of those who were aware reported difficulty making a plan choice, according to a Health Affairs article based on the Kaiser Family Foundation's 2006-2007 Survey of Florida Medicaid Beneficiaries conducted during the first year of the state's reform effort.

The study found that three-quarters of the enrollees who were unaware of their need to choose a plan said that they had not been told so by the state, suggesting that they either did not receive, did not read or did not understand the state's letter and other communications about their transition.

The study, Florida's Medicaid Reform: Informed Consumer Choice?, was written by Teresa Coughlin, Sharon K. Long and Timothy Triplett of the Urban Institute; Samantha Artiga and Barbara Lyons of the Kaiser Family Foundation; and Paul Duncan and Allyson Hall of the University of Florida.

The Foundation, in collaboration with the Urban Institute and the University of Florida, is conducting a follow-up survey in Florida to continue to track the experiences of beneficiaries in the reform program.

In addition, the Foundation released a separate policy brief that provides an overview of the Florida Medicaid reform and a summary of available research findings to date from various evaluators of the program.

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