FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Federal health officials says 726,000 uninsured Floridians suffered from mental health and substance abuse issues in 2014 and nearly half of them could have gotten treatment if the state expanded Medicaid.
Monday’s report from the Obama administration shows 309,000 uninsured Floridians earned too much to qualify for regular Medicaid and too little to get a subsidy in the federal marketplace.
The report noted about 26 percent of uninsured Floridians struggle with those issues, but only 8.8 percent receive treatment.
Experts say treating behavioral health conditions has been shown to reduce rates of disability, increase employment productivity, and decrease criminal justice costs.
Medicaid expansion has been a contentious issue in Florida.
In last year’s session, the Senate voted to expand Medicaid coverage access, while the House and governor were against it.
The topic was a non-starter during this past legislative session.