Medicaid, a health insurance program for low-income people, is supported by a combination of federal and state funding. Medicaid eligibility is based on an applicant's income and assets. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (FAHCA) administers the program, which in 2010 served roughly 3 million residents, half of them under 20 years old. The FAHCA estimates that Medicaid costs for the 2010-2011 fiscal year will reach $20.2 billion.
Florida Medicaid recipients must be state residents and U.S. citizens or legal residents. Eligible applicants include the blind or disabled and residents over 65 years old receiving Supplemental Security Income. Others eligible for Mediciad include pregnant women, children, aged or disabled people not receiving SSI and low-income families with children. While those receiving SSI automatically receive Medicaid, people in other categories must apply for Medicaid benefits through the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Income limits for Florida Medicaid depend on family size and Medicaid category, and are based on the Federal Poverty Level. In 2011, infants must have a family income of 200 percent of less of the FPL, or $1,815 per month in 2011. A child aged one to five years old must have a family income of 133 percent or less of the FPL, or $1,180 per month. A child from age 6 to 19 years old must have a family income of 100 percent of the FPL, or $908. Each additional person in the family means an additional sum, ranging from $637 for infant's family income to $319 for those aged 6 to 19.
There are no asset limits for children and pregnant women on Medicaid. Family Medicaid assets for children under age 18 and parents or relatives caring for them cannot exceed $2,000. Under the Medically Needy, or "share of cost" program, which allows patients with large medical bills to spend down assets to qualify for Medicaid, one person can keep up to $5,000 worth of assets and a four-member household may keep up to $6,500, with an additional $500 for each member of a household above four people.
Non-citizens may be eligible for Medicaid coverage in emergency situations, including labor and childbirth, in which cases Medicaid may pay bills after the emergency occurs. Non-citizen emergency Medicaid applicants must provide documentation from a licensed health-care provider that any treatment stemmed from an emergency condition. The documents must include the dates on which the emergency treatment occurred.