Florida Churches Rally to Support Medicaid Enrollees

Pastor Glenn Foreman Zion Hope Baptist Church

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which required Medicaid providers to keep patients enrolled during the health emergency. Since then, Medicaid enrollment has swelled, with nearly 95 million Americans enrolled in 2023, up from 23 million in 2020. The redetermination process for these programs has restarted, leaving 1.75 million Floridians at risk of losing their coverage.

In response, local churches across Florida are stepping in to support those who may be affected.

Churches have become vital lifelines for individuals and families in communities across the state. Pastor Greg James at the Life Church International Center in Tallahassee has also been working to dispel pandemic misinformation, destigmatize mental health, and raise awareness of illnesses that disproportionately impact the Black community through the church’s health ministry.

At Zion’s Hope Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Pastor Glenn Foreman is collaborating with non-profit organizations to support the Mama Thrive program, which provides multicultural maternal telehealth services to ensure minority women get access to exceptional healthcare before, during, and after their pregnancy.

The churches’ efforts to serve vulnerable populations in their communities are commendable, and there are important first steps anyone can take to remain insured.

One study done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 64% of Americans had no idea they may lose coverage because of the end of pandemic-era protections, so it’s important to know if you are vulnerable.

Recertifying income to verify eligibility for Medicaid is crucial, as is exploring low-cost insurance programs such as Florida KidCare and the state’s Medically Needy program.

In the words of Pastor James, “When our most vulnerable communities are facing an unfortunate healthcare cycle of poor coverage and ineffective resources, it’s an opportunity for churches to step in, help their local families through healthcare ministries, and advocate for better. Together, we can promote a healthier, more caring community in Florida and beyond.”

Healthcare isn’t just an individual issue; it’s a community issue. As Medicaid redetermination is upon us, we all need to come together to support our communities and ensure that everyone has access to the healthcare they need.

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