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Florida asks for $1.1 billion in Medicaid funding but it’s not a step toward expansion

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is asking the federal government for an additional $1.1 billion in federal Medicaid dollars over the next two years to bolster access to home- and community-based programs and steer hundreds of millions of dollars to poor, elderly and disabled Floridians to purchase technology and make home improvements that enable them to age in place.

Florida submitted a proposal to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services late Monday night that, if approved, would also direct $191 million to enroll more individuals in the state’s home- and community-based Medicaid waiver program — dubbed the “iBudget” program — for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The additional federal Medicaid funding the state is seeking is available under a provision in the American Rescue Plan Act, a stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden in March, that allows the state to draw down a 10 percentage-point increase in federal funds to bolster home- and community-based services in state Medicaid programs.

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