Who pays for baker act in Florida?

In Florida, the primary source of payment for the Baker Act is the patient’s health insurance. People often ask “Who pays for baker act in Florida?”. If the patient does not have health insurance, they may be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare. If the patient is not eligible for any of these programs, the county may be responsible for the cost of treatment. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the patient is arrested for a felony involving violence against another person, the county is responsible for the cost of treatment, even if the patient has health insurance.

What is the cost of a baker act commitment in florida?

The cost of a baker act commitment in Florida is approx $300 per day.

Factors Affecting Baker Act Cost:

  • Cost varies based on several factors, including length of stay, facility type, and insurance coverage.
  • Average cost is around $300 per day.

Patients with Health Insurance:

  • Typically, the Baker Act cost is covered by health insurance.
  • Patients may still have to pay deductibles and co-payments.

Patients without Health Insurance:

  • Cost may be covered by Medicaid or Medicare for eligible individuals.
  • Eligibility requirements may apply for Medicaid and Medicare.

County Responsibility:

  • In some cases, the county may be responsible for the treatment cost.
  • Exceptions exist, e.g., if the patient was arrested for a felony involving violence, the county covers the cost, even if the patient has insurance.

Seeking Assistance:

  • If concerned about Baker Act cost, contact health insurance company or the county mental health department.
  • They can provide information on coverage options and available financial assistance programs.

How long can someone be held under the baker act in florida?

Baker Act Duration and Examination:

  • In Florida, a person can be held under the Baker Act for up to 72 hours for mental health examination.
  • This 72-hour period is the upper limit, but there’s no requirement that a person must be kept for the entire three-day period.
  • Minors can only be held for 12 hours.
  • All patients held for more than 12 hours must be examined by a mental health professional within 24 hours of being admitted.

Extension of Baker Act Stay:

  • If a ruling is made to extend the period, adults can be held for more than 72 hours.
  • However, the facility can only hold them for a maximum of five days.

Nature of Baker Act:

  • The Baker Act is primarily for crisis intervention.
  • It does not guarantee long-term placement for individuals.

Tips to reduce the cost of a baker act commitment in florida

Check Insurance Coverage:

  • Verify if your insurance covers the cost of a Baker Act commitment.
  • Contact your insurance provider to determine the extent of coverage.

Apply for Financial Assistance:

  • The Florida Department of Children and Families may provide treatment without cost to the county if the patient is indigent.
  • Eligibility for financial assistance is determined based on federal poverty guidelines.

Seek Low-Cost Facilities:

  • Research and compare prices among different facilities.
  • Costs can vary depending on the facility and length of stay, so finding a more affordable option is possible.

Advocate for Policy Change:

  • Advocate for changes in state policy regarding the payment for emergency mental health care.
  • Policy changes may help reduce the cost of Baker Act commitments in the future.

Important Note:

  • The average cost of a Baker Act commitment in Florida is $300 per day per bed.
  • However, it’s essential to understand that the Baker Act is primarily for crisis intervention and doesn’t guarantee long-term placement for individuals.

Financial assistance programs available for families of someone who has been held under the Baker Act in Florida


  • Government health insurance for low-income individuals and families.
  • May cover the cost of Baker Act treatment for eligible individuals.


  • Government health insurance for individuals aged 65 and older and those with certain disabilities.
  • May cover the cost of Baker Act treatment for eligible individuals.

Florida Low-Income Pool (FLIP):

  • State-funded program for low-income Floridians who don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.
  • Can provide financial assistance for Baker Act treatment for eligible individuals.

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA):

  • Federal law ensuring health insurance companies treat mental health and substance abuse on par with physical health treatment.
  • Prevents higher deductibles or co-payments for mental health and substance abuse treatment.

State and Local Mental Health Programs:

  • Many states and localities offer programs that provide financial assistance for mental health services, including Baker Act treatment.

Resources for Families of Baker Act Individuals:

Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF):

  • Provides information on the Baker Act and mental health resources.
  • Offers a website and hotline for assistance.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

  • A national organization offering support and advocacy for individuals with mental illness and their families.
  • NAMI Florida provides information about the Baker Act and other mental health resources through its website and hotline.


  • A website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offering information about mental health and related resources.

For further inquiries about financial assistance programs or other resources related to the Baker Act, consider reaching out to your local DCF office or NAMI Florida.

What are the alternatives to the baker act?

Here are the alternatives to the Baker Act in Florida for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis:

Marchman Act:

  • Allows individuals deeply impaired by substance use disorder to be involuntarily committed for examination and treatment.
  • Can last for varying periods, with the potential for an extension of up to 90 additional days if necessary.

Voluntary Admission:

  • Individuals experiencing a mental health crisis can choose to seek voluntary admission to a mental health facility.
  • Provides treatment without involuntary commitment.

Mobile Crisis Response Team:

  • Comprises mental health professionals who offer crisis intervention services in individuals’ homes or other community settings.
  • Provides assessment, counseling, and referrals to appropriate services.

Outpatient Services:

  • Available for individuals who don’t require hospitalization but still need mental health treatment.
  • Includes counseling, therapy, and medication management.

These alternatives offer options for individuals and their families to seek appropriate care and support during a mental health crisis without resorting to involuntary commitment under the Baker Act.


In conclusion, the financial responsibility for a Baker Act commitment in Florida primarily falls on the patient’s health insurance, with an average cost of around $300 per day. For those without insurance, options like Medicaid, Medicare, or state-funded programs may be available, along with low-cost facilities and financial assistance programs. Advocacy for policy changes and utilization of alternatives, such as the Marchman Act, voluntary admission, and outpatient services, can offer more options and reduce the burden on individuals and families in crisis. Overall, various resources and support mechanisms aim to ensure access to necessary mental health care in the state of Florida.

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