Florida CHAIN

Florida CHAIN is a statewide consumer health advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health of all Floridians by promoting access to affordable, quality health care. Florida CHAIN provides resources to build the capacities for and linking consumer, community and service organizations with health care advocacy. In addition, Florida CHAIN provides policy education, collaborative networking, training, and communications and organizing tools to the public, allied partners, media and policy makers. See below for more information about Florida CHAIN’s recent activities, accomplishments, and advocacy work and tools!

  • Florida CHAIN Issues Statement in Response to Medicaid Expansion Report

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    FL: Florida CHAIN released a statement in response to the Council of Economic Advisers’ report on states that have not expanded Medicaid. The statement highlights the economic and health impacts should Florida expand Medicaid, including: 38,000 fewer people with catastrophic out-of-pocket Medicaid expenses per year; $15 billion in federal support through 2016; and 63,800 more jobs through 2017. In response to the report, Leah Barber-Heinz, CEO for Florida CHAIN, said, “States that have moved forward with health care expansion are seeing billions of dollars coming into their economy and the creation of tens of thousands of good jobs...Florida is throwing away new jobs and sending our tax dollars to states that are expanding, when instead we could be investing that money here at home.” 
  • Florida CHAIN Blogs About Medicaid Expansion and Substance Use Disorders

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    FL: Florida CHAIN blogged about the potential impact of Medicaid expansion on 170,000 Floridians with substance use disorders (SUDs) who fall into Florida’s coverage gap. Florida CHAIN asserts that expanding Medicaid coverage to people with SUDs would be good for families, businesses, and the State’s economy.   
  • Florida CHAIN Blog and Infographic Highlight Rate Review

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    FL: Florida CHAIN blogged and created an  infographic  regarding insurance rate filings in Florida. Florida CHAIN highlights the potential for misinformation and provides guidance on what consumers should look for in the newly published rates.

  • Florida CHAIN Highlights Increased KidCare Coverage for Low Income Children

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    FL: Florida CHAIN  issued a press release and infographic highlighting the ACA’s impact on Medicaid coverage for low income children in Florida.  The ACA increased the Medicaid income limit (from 100% to 133% of the federal poverty level) for children aged 6-18 and, as a result, more than 93,000 children enrolled in Florida KidCare between October 2013 and May 2014. 

  • YI & FL CHAIN Team Up to Collect Young Adults’ Coverage Gap Stories

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    YI & FL: Young Invincibles (YI) and Florida CHAIN are partnering to collect stories of young adults in states that have not expanded Medicaid.  YI developed a survey that FL CHAIN is distributing to its community partners to reach Florida’s uninsured young adults.
  • FL CHAIN Rallies for Medicaid Expansion as Florida Promotes Medical Tourism

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    FL: On April 30, 2014, Florida CHAIN, in partnership with Progress Florida, hosted a rally at the Florida State Capital in support of expanding Medicaid.  FL CHAIN also organized a sign-on petition directed to lawmakers considering a “medical tourism” bill, which would increase out-of-state patients’ access to health coverage in Florida.  The petition advocates for prioritizing low income Floridians’ access to health coverage over out-of-state patients. 
  • NCLR & KidsWell FL Advocate for Expanded Health Coverage at Florida’s Children’s Week

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    NCLR & FL: From April 6-11, 2014, KidsWell FL participated in Children’s Week, an annual event held in Tallahassee, to advocate for Medicaid expansion and health coverage for legally residing immigrant children.  Leah Barbara-Heinz, chief executive officer of Florida CHAIN, was interviewed by Tallahassee.com about the importance of these legislative initiatives.  The National Council of La Raza also partnered with Redlands Christian Migrant Association to engage young Latinas in legislative advocacy visits during Children’s Week.

  • FL CHAIN Continues Medicaid Expansion Advocacy

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    FL: Greg Mellowe, policy director for Florida CHAIN, released a press statement and Health News Florida editorial in response to CMS’ decision to extend Florida’s Low Income Pool (LIP) for one year.  The LIP provides federal Medicaid funding to help hospitals offset the cost of treating uninsured patients.  In the editorial, Mellowe highlighted that, unlike the LIP extension which is a “short-term band-aid for the problem of uncompensated care,” expanding Medicaid would provide a long term solution by reducing the number of uninsured Floridians.
  • FL CHAIN Contributes to State’s Marketplace Enrollment Success

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    FL: Damien Filer, a spokesman for Florida CHAIN, was quoted in a Herald Tribune article about the Florida Marketplace’s emergence as one of the ACA’s biggest success stories with close to half a million sign-ups.  Filer cited two reasons for Florida’s success, “First, there is a tremendous need here for coverage. And, second, we had a large network of organizations in place to help people get covered.”
  • FL CHAIN Criticizes Governor’s Plan to Roll Back Taxes While Refusing to Expand Medicaid

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    FL: FL CHAIN released a press statement criticizing Governor Scott’s plan to roll back taxes while refusing federal funding to expand Medicaid.  FL CHAIN equates the Governor’s refusal to expand Medicaid to a tax increase because the State is preventing the flow of federal dollars to provide health coverage. 

  • FL CHAIN’s Medicaid Counter Keeps Climbing

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    FL: Florida CHAIN, in partnership with Progress Florida, launched the Florida Medicaid Counter which counts the federal dollars Florida is losing each second by not expanding Medicaid. 

  • Florida CHAIN Releases Interactive Map of Uninsured

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    FL: Florida CHAIN, in partnership with Progress Florida, released an interactive, county-by-county map of Florida’s uninsured. 

  • Florida CHAIN To Host Webinar on Non-Expansion’s Impact on Women

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    FL: Florida CHAIN co-hosted a webinar on February 25, 2014 highlighting the impact of the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid on more than 460,000 uninsured women.  Webinar attendees learned about the needs of uninsured Floridian women and the political landscape related to Medicaid expansion.  

  • Florida CHAIN Explains No Wrong Door

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    FL: Florida CHAIN released a fact sheet explaining Florida’s No Wrong Door enrollment pathway for Medicaid, CHIP and subsidized Qualified Health Plan coverage.  The fact sheet details eligibility requirements and outlines the pathway to paper and online enrollment. 

  • FL CHAIN Blogs About Legislators’ Continued ACA Opposition and Misrepresentation

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    FL: To highlight legislators’ persistent attempts to misrepresent the ACA, FL CHAIN published a blog post illustrating the state’s efforts to block the ACA, including: presentation of misleading and inaccurate premium information; drafting of proposed rules conflating definitions and requirements for Navigators and Certified Application Counselors; blocking discussion of Medicaid expansion; and weakening state law in two areas where Florida is currently stronger than the ACA—coverage for young adults under 30 and small business employees.  

     

  • Florida CHAIN Responds to Medicaid Enrollment Delays Caused by Healthcare.gov

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    FL: Greg Mellowe, policy director of Florida CHAIN, was quoted in The Washington Post on the enrollment delays that thousands of low-income Floridians have experienced as a result of the federal marketplace website’s inability to transfer Medicaid-eligible consumers’ data to Florida’s Medicaid agency. He stated, “This is not what we were hoping to see” and emphasized the website was supposed to provide “real-time eligibility” determinations.
  • Florida CHAIN Questions Accuracy of State Report on Health Insurance Costs

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    FL: Greg Mellowe, policy director of Florida CHAIN, was quoted in Health News Florida questioning the accuracy of the cost of premiums in a state report to a legislative committee.  Mellowe stated, “I can’t remember ever hearing that many errors, misstatements and evasions in that short of a legislative presentation."  Wences Troncoso, Deputy Insurance Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation, acknowledged the availability of lower-cost coverage options than the presentation reported.
  • What's Your Story? Florida CHAIN Co-Sponsored Success Story Call

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    FL: To encourage Marketplace enrollment, Florida CHAIN co-sponsored a call with consumers and health care advocates to share recent Marketplace enrollees’ success stories and information about applying and enrolling in coverage before January 1, 2014.
  • All Hands on Deck! Florida CHAIN Encourages Stakeholders to Push for Medicaid Expansion

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    FL: Florida CHAIN launched an “All Hands on Deck” campaign urging individuals to attend a November 25th Legislative Delegation meeting on the ACA and Medicaid Expansion. The Campaign’s goal is to demonstrate to state leaders the importance of expanding coverage to 3.8 million uninsured Floridians. Florida CHAIN also blogged on MomsRising.org about the millions of American families not eligible for affordable coverage because their states did not expand Medicaid. The blog encouraged readers to contact their legislators to support Medicaid expansion.

  • Florida CHAIN Challenged Legislature's Plan on Regulating Insurance Rates

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    FL: Florida CHAIN challenged, for a third time, Senate Bill 1842 which suspends the Office of Insurance Regulation’s (OIR) ability to review plan rates subject to the ACA through 2015. Florida CHAIN argues that, rather than protecting consumers through rate review, OIR will only create notices that plans must send to policyholders describing the ACA’s impact on their coverage. Despite Florida CHAIN’s efforts, an administrative law judge dismissed the challenge on November 4th

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