Children’s Health in Florida

hnycubannerEvery month we’ll host a call and bring in an expert speaker to talk to you about a hot topic and then give you the chance to ask questions

August 25, 2015

Access to high quality health care is an imperative for children to grow, develop, and acquire the skills and knowledge to reach their potential as healthy adults. Yet, we learned on our special back-to-school edition of Health News You Can Use that nearly a half-million children in Florida do not have health insurance to safeguard their ability to secure preventive services like developmental screening and vaccines.

Further, the children without insurance frequently go without needed health care for illnesses or injuries when they occur. Florida CHAIN’s Brian Kirk described the programs available through Florida KidCare that can fill the insurance gap for many children. Although, as one of our listeners pointed out, much work remains to be done to help families traverse the enrollment hurdles that language barriers, confusing enrollment processes, multiplicity of programs, complicated documentation requirements, and limited resources for outreach present.

Child advocates can listen to the recording of this call to learn about the programs and augment the outreach and education to families who qualify for care. Near the end of the call, we discussed the changes and challenges coming to the KidCare “full-pay” program. With KidCare full-pay premiums are increasing by a significant amount, it is important for the families of 36,000 Florida children who participate in the plan to understand the insurance alternatives. Parents can check with their employers to see what the coverage and cost options to add children to the employer-sponsored plan. Some employers in the state are allowing affected children to enroll mid-year to maintain childrens’ coverages.

Families that qualify for tax credit subsidies on the Healthcare.gov Marketplace will also be offered a Special Enrollment Period to ensure seamless coverage when the plans and premium changes take effect on October 1. Visit www.coveringflorida.org for more information.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Check out the recommended schedules below to ensure the adults and children in your family are up-to-date on the recommended vaccinations: