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Florida health officials have received a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) putting a halt to plans to significantly expand a pilot program that moves the state’s Medicaid program into the private arena.

Medicaid provides medical coverage to low income individuals and families. In Florida, it covers nearly 3 million people (including almost 27 percent of the state’s children) and costs about $20 billion annually. Its services are administered by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, but because costs are shared by the state and the federal government, modifications to the program require federal approval.

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