New Policy Brief Released: Understanding Florida’s Medicaid Waiver Application

September 27, 2005–The Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) has released the fifth in a series of policy briefs focused on Florida Medicaid Reform—“Understanding Florida’s Medicaid Waiver Application.”

Previewed in a webcast on September 21, the policy brief examines Florida’s Medicaid Waiver application made public on August 31. The author is Joan Alker, Senior Researcher for the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, who also authored the previous policy briefs.

The new brief takes a look at the flexibility built into the proposed waiver application. It notes that “many adults—notably adults with disabilities—will be moved into reform plans where HMOs and other providers have unprecedented flexibility to determine the benefits they will receive.”

It also notes that under the proposed waiver, “children’s benefits remain the same: The proposal clarifies that most children are still assured of their current benefits.  The waiver’s overall budget reduction goals, however, may pose a risk to the adequacy of the premium to ensure that children receive the services they need.”

The brief also provides a timeline for the Florida Medicaid Waiver process and includes information on where people can submit comments.

In releasing this brief and others on Medicaid reform, the WPHF hopes to provide information that will further thoughtful public discussion on Medicaid.

The Winter Park Health Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization that funds research and programs improving the health of children and youth, the elderly and the uninsured.

To view the brief, go to