Medicaid’s Elder Experiment Begins

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Florida’s statewide Medicaid managed-care gamble gets officially under way on Thursday, beginning with thousands of the state’s most vulnerable clients: low-income seniors too sick to get by without help.

If all goes according to plan, taxpayers will save money and frail elders will get preventive and well-coordinated care. They’ll have the medical and social support they need to remain in their own homes or in the community, rather than in a nursing home.

But if the private plans entrusted with their care don’t follow through, there could be tragedy and scandal. Some elder-law advocates have predicted “Granny-Dumping.”

A rolling start date — with groups of counties going live each month — begins Thursday with Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. The News Service of Florida offers more details.

To see which services are covered under the program, see this two-page fact sheet from the Agency for Health Care Administration.

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