According to the Miami Herald, Miami will soon be facing a serious public health crisis that could overwhelm its hospitals and raise costs. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility is expanded to all low-income qualifying adults. However, Miami’s legislators failed to expand coverage, leaving as many as 567,000 residents without insurance. Florida will receive less federal funding this year as a result of the decision. Yet, for Miami-Dade residents and hospitals, state legislated decisions may hit close to home.
For instance, trauma hospitals who treat car accident victims will lose an estimated $241 million this year in crucial funding. The actions of legislators also have an impact on auto insurance and on victims of personal injury in car accidents. Jackson Memorial Hospital, which takes the uninsured, will likely be facing increased pressure in the years to come to both treat the chronically ill and those injured due to trauma in car accidents. One in four adults in Florida are in poor health.
Florida drivers are required to pay higher rates for auto insurance, making Florida’s insurance rates among the highest in the country, with state residents paying the country’s 4th highest premiums. Floridians must carry Personal Injury Protection coverage, whether or not they have medical coverage. Personal Injury Protection coverage pays for medical expenses for accident victims if they don’t have sufficient medical coverage.