About five years ago in Florida, the State decided to experiment with the Medicaid money that provides services for the mentally challenged community.  This money comes from both the state and federal governments.  It is distributed by each state government. This experiment would turn all services that are paid for by the state over to a HMO.

        According to Medical Definitions, a HMO is “a corporation financed by insurance premiums whose member physicians and professional staff provide curative and preventive medicine within.”  That means a HMO is a business made up of doctors, nurses and therapists.  Their purpose is to help make you healthy and help keep you healthy.  To join a HMO, you must pay an insurance premium.

      The important word here is business.

       A Medicaid HMO will be a business contracted by your state and some of the funds come from federal money. 

      Almost all states have Medicaid HMO’s.  There is a difference in this plan. HMO’s will now be in charge of providing all of your services.  It seems that many states want to move services given to people with developmental disabilities to a HMO.

      Because these companies are businesses, they must make money.  One way they make money is by cutting or not giving services to people.  Some people think this is a bad idea.  It will not save the state money; it will mean that your care will be reduced.

            Contact your state representatives and senators.  Let them know that you think about this plan. 

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