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Medicaid Hotline Flooded with Calls

December 3rd, 2008 by flanews

A state hotline, for low income families try to change their Medicaid coverage is flooded with calls. People dialing into the call center are often greeted with a busy signal. As Whitney Ray tells us, staff and hours have been added, but right now the demand is exceeding the states resources.

Hear it Here: Medicaid Hotline Flooded with Calls

Once a month 82 year-old Frances Hyatt visits her senior center for a free medical check up.

For people who cant afford to pay for having it done they can come here and it wont cost them, said Frances.

Frances has her medical expenses covered through Medicare and the Capital Health Plan, but around the corner at the center Pearl Fuller relies solely on Medicaid.

I would really be in trouble without it because it helps a lot, said Pearl.

The number of Floridians relying on Medicaid for health care coverage has skyrocketed. 100,000 people were added to the states Medicaid rolls this year alone. The increase is bogging down the state hotline for people trying to change their plan. We called the hotline five times, and five times we received a busy signal.

The Agency for Health Care Administration has added operators and extended hours to keep up with the demand.

Please be patient. Continue trying the line and at various times through out the day and if at some point say theyve tried continuously in the morning and thats unsuccessful try in the afternoon or maybe even try on a Saturday, said Fernando Senro, a spokesman for AHCA.

People who cant get through to the call center are assigned a plan; it just may not be the coverage they want. People automatically enrolled in a Medicaid plan have 90 days to switch their coverage.

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