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Rural Floridians

  • In 2019, approximately 718,558 Floridians were living in rural areas.

  • Even among the insured, many rural Floridians face challenges in accessing health care, including lack of providers in the area, closing of rural hospitals, and having to travel long distances to get health care.  

  • About 37 percent of rural Floridians were uninsured in 2018 (Georgetown University Center for Children and Families).

  • Expanding Medicaid eligibility in Florida can increase access to health care for those living in rural areas.

To qualify for Medicaid in Florida you must have a dependent child and make less than about 31% of the federal poverty level (ex: $7,000/yr for a family of 3). There is NO help for childless adults, regardless of how much you make.

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  • Since 2010, over 94 rural hospitals have been closed and this has been largely in states that have not expanded Medicaid. Rural hospitals are more vulnerable to closure due to lack of funding.

  • This includes Critical Access Hospitals, clinics that are more than 35 miles from another hospital.

  • In Florida:

    • 7 rural hospitals have closed since 2005

    • 5 of the 7 hospitals closed in 2017 or later, including 3 hospitals in 2020

    • 3 Critical Access Hospitals have closed since 2017

    • 2 of the CAH’s to close in 2020 (Shands Live Oak Regional Medical Center, Shands Starke Regional Medical Center) were medical homes for 70% of the local community

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You can stand with our statewide coalition during the upcoming 2021 Florida legislative session.

We will ​​be mobilizing Floridians to urge lawmakers to expand access to health care.

Join the coalition for the latest updates, invitations to coalition calls, and more!

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