A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation has revealed that nearly every state in the U.S. has planned steps to deal with a projected 29 percent increase in Medicaid expenses in 2012. In Florida, Medicaid costs have been rising for the last several years, up 40 percent since 2006 -- something that will likely affect the estate plans of many residents. The state hopes to secure federal approval to transfer its Medicaid recipients to non-public managed-care plans in an attempt to limit costs, as Medicaid is expected to cost the state approximately $20 billion this year.

To help combat the financial problem, Florida plans to implement a variety of possible solutions, including new copayments for recipients who seek health care through an emergency room when their problem is not an emergency. Like Florida, several other states have also made plans to privatize ongoing care for some patients.

The executive vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation pointed at the economy when determining what is causing the huge hike in Medicaid enrollees. She said that poor and uninsured people coupled with high rates of unemployment have prompted an increasing number of people to seek health care through Medicaid.

While Florida and other states work to determine the best solutions to manage the program's costs, others say there is no extra money to pull from the Medicaid program, and recent budget cuts could have a direct impact on those who rely on the government health care program. Hopefully states will be able to come up with viable solutions that will allow those who rely on Medicaid to keep getting the affordable health care they need.

Source: HealthState.org, "Report: Florida Braces For Hikes in Medicaid Spending," Farah Dosani, Oct. 28, 2011