As Legislators Wrestle to Define Next Generation of Florida Medicaid, Benefits of Reform Effort Are Far From Clear

Medicaid is a critical part of Florida’s health care system. It covers about 27% of the state’s children, pays for 51% of all deliveries and nearly 66% of nursing home days. In 2006, a five-year pilot program replaced traditional Medicaid with an unusual managed-care model and other features that required a Section 1115 waiver from the federal government. The waiver is expiring this year and there is no clear evidence that it has saved money or improved care since it began. Despite a lack of conclusive data, policymakers are debating whether the pilot program should be expanded statewide. Georgetown Health Policy Institute researchers Joan Alker and Jack Hoadley, with support from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, provide an update to their previous study on the waiver’s impact on Broward, Duval and surrounding counties.

For more information on the Health Policy Institute’s project assessing Florida’ Medicaid Reform go to:


Joan Alker is the Executive Director of the Center for Children and Families and a Research Professor at the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy.