Each year, millions of people rely upon Medicaid and Veterans Affairs (VA) programs and benefits for a range of health care. As a resident of Florida who may need these programs, the information below includes important information, links to eligibility, and ways to learn about 2023 Medicaid and VA updates.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a partnership between the state and federal government to provide health coverage for those who meet the following qualifications:

  • A resident of the state of Florida

  • U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien

  • In need of healthcare or insurance assistance

  • Qualifies as a low-income individual (link here to check your eligibility status)

  • And, also, is pregnant, responsible for a child 18 years of age or younger, is blind, is a disabled individual, or has a household family member with a disability

In addition, Florida also has Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care (SMMC LTC). This program helps Medicaid-eligible seniors receive assistance to stay in their homes, community, or assisted living instead of nursing home care. Those who are eligible for these long-term care services can choose a plan and have the support of a Long Term Care Case Manager to help the senior remain in the least restrictive environment for their needed level of care.

Lastly, keep in mind that while they sound similar, Medicaid and Medicare are different programs. While Medicaid requires eligibility as discussed above, Medicare is funded by Social Security tax contributions and most seniors are eligible to enroll at age 65.

What are Veterans Affairs (VA)?

VA benefits are yet another way many seniors have access to health care, in-home nursing care, assisted living rent, medical insurance premiums, prescription co-pays, etc. As with Medicaid, this benefit also has eligibility requirements. Those who are eligible for VA benefits must meet the following:

  • Actively served in the military, naval, or air service and some qualifying Reserve and National Guard members

  • Was discharged or released under conditions that were not dishonorable

  • For those enlisted after September 7, 1980 or entering active duty after October 16, 1981, they must have served 24 continuous months. This may be waived for those discharged due to hardship, early out, or disability in the line of duty.

  • Be a widowed spouse of the above.

Eligible Individuals can access healthcare providers at a number of VA facilities in Florida. You may begin your exploration of eligibility for VA benefits at this link. Additionally, our law office offers free VA Benefits Seminars each year to help eligible veterans or their widowed spouses navigate sometimes challenging eligibility requirements.

To sign up for VA Benefits Seminars with our knowledgeable attorneys, check our schedule here.

2023 Updates for Medicaid & VA

As with most government programs, some changes occur each year.

Here are a few Medicaid Changes to note:

  • The annual Part B deductible for 2023 is decreasing to $226

  • The limit on Part D Prescription deductibles is increasing to $505 for 2023.

  • Copays for a 30-day supply of any insulin that a Medicare drug plan covers will be capped at $35.

  • Beginning on July 1, 2023 Medicare enrollees who take their insulin through a pump as part of the Part B durable medical equipment benefit will not have to pay a deductible and they will also benefit from the $35 copay cap.

  • In 2023 vaccines recommended for adults by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will be available to Medicare recipients free of charge.

  • A fixed cost in the Medicare Part A deductible is increasing.

To explore all of the updates more, click here.

Regarding VA benefits, there have been changes to the copay rates, changes to disability compensation rates, as well as a new life insurance program. To explore these issues specific to your situation please sign up for one of our VA Benefits Seminars.