Naples, Florida 11/5/2009 3:54:52 PM
News / Business

Florida Health Insurance Children Uninsured

why does florida have a group of kids without insurance?

In spite of the ambitious programs designed for uninsured children in Florida, the state recently reported the second highest rate of uninsured children in the country, and is third overall in the country for the number of uninsured children.  Statewide, nearly 19 percent of children are without Florida health insurance according to a report issued by Families USA.


The report indicated that the number of uninsured children continues to grow within the state, with figures compared between a period from 2003-2005 and 2005-2007.  Between these two periods, the number grew by 10.9 percent.




Most of these uninsured children come from working families, indicating that employers are either not offering health insurance, or that it is unaffordable for many working families.  This is congruent with the fact that over 60 percent of uninsured children come from low-income families.


The state of Florida provides health insurance for children up to 18 years old through Kidcare, which is broken into four separate sections.  Applicants are assigned to the appropriate section based on their age, health status and/or income levels.


Children between the ages of 1 through 4 years of age are covered under a program entitled Medikids.  Through this program, children receive healthcare services from Medicaid providers.  There are costs associated with enrollment, and families have to pay $15 or $20 in health insurance premium to be enrolled, depending on household income.  For those who exceed the maximum income requirements, a full pay option is available which costs $159 per month, per child.


For those children between the ages of 5 and 18, health insurance is available through the Healthy Kids program.  Currently available statewide, the Florida Legislature established this program in 1990 as a joint venture utilizing public and private resources to provide coverage to uninsured children.  The program is available to otherwise uninsured children between 5 and 18 years old and who are not eligible for Medicaid.  The children must be citizens of the United States and they cannot be a dependent of a State employee.


All children who have special health care needs, including serious or chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions beyond the scope of what would be required for typically healthy children, can obtain coverage through the Children’s Medical Services (CMS) program.   This program has established a system of coordinated care through a network of group health insurance providers that focus on the needs of those with special health care needs.  The program also has an element that deals with the needs of families faced with the care of a child who has special needs.  This program is designed for children and young adults under the age of 21.


Since 1970, the state of Florida has collaborated with the federal government to provide health coverage for uninsured people with low incomes.  This program is designed to help those children who live in households that simply cannot afford health insurance.


As Florida’s problems with uninsured children worsen along with the economy more families face heartbreaking decisions regarding healthcare on a daily basis.  These circumstances highlight the importance of the decisions being made in Washington regarding the state of the current economy, and the status of the nation’s uninsured.




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