Each year, millions of people rely upon Medicaid services and Veterans Affairs (VA) programs and benefits for a range of health care matters, such as chronic disease management, dental services, essential health benefits, behavioral health treatment, and more. As a resident of Florida who may need these programs, the information below includes important information, links to eligibility, and ways to learn about 2024 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)
  • Also, pregnant women, those responsible for a child 18 years of age or younger, blind, disabled, 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 benefit packages 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 health care providers 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, Medicare & Medicaid services are different programs under the Department of Health and Human Services. 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) Pension Benefits?

VA pension 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, renewal processes, and continuous coverage requirements to avoid gaps in coverage. Those who are eligible for VA pension benefits must meet the following:

  • Actively served in the military, naval, or air service and some qualifying Reserve and National Guard members
  • Have a discharge or release under conditions other than dishonorable
  • Serve during an eligible wartime period 
  • Be a widowed spouse of the above

Eligible Individuals can access health care 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 to ease the burdens on enrollees. We help eligible veterans or their widowed spouses navigate the sometimes challenging eligibility requirements. 

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

2024 Updates for Medicaid & VA

As with most government programs, some fee schedules and direct cost changes occur each year, and there has been a Medicaid expansion for veterans.

Here are a few Medicaid changes to note:

  • The annual Part B deductible for 2024 is increasing to $240.
  • The limit on Part D Prescription deductibles is increasing to no more than $545 for 2024.
  • Copays for a 30-day supply of any insulin that a Medicare drug plan covers will remain at $35.
  • Please note that annual renewals are now required, a change from the Covid-policy continuous enrollment.
  • Medicare enrollees who take their insulin through a pump as part of the Part B durable medical equipment benefit will continue not to have to pay a deductible, and they will also benefit from the $35 copay cap.
  • Continuing in 2024, 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.
  • It also provides coverage without patient cost sharing of recommended vaccines for people with Medicare Part D.
  • The Part A deductible is $1,632 for 2024 before Original Medicare starts to pay after an inpatient hospital benefit period. The Part B annual deductible is $240.
  • And, as a preview to 2025, all Medicare Part D individuals with Medicare Part D will have a $2,000 cap for out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

 To explore all of the updates further, 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, ask policy questions, or ask documentation requirement questions, please sign up for one of our VA Benefits Seminars.