Florida lawmakers recently required families in the KidCare program to resubmit documents to prove their eligibility, but kids may wind up paying the price for all the red tape.
Leslie Conway is one of 49,000 parents who got a letter saying her kids will lose their health care because she didn’t provide the necessary paperwork. The problem is, she sent the forms in months ago.
Leslie says, “I was like, oh my gosh, frantically searching through papers on my desk, looking for receipts, looking for copies of my application.”
While many parents did drop the ball, at least part of the problem may be the blizzard of new documents required by lawmakers to prove eligibility for the KidCare program.
KidCare administrator Rose Naff admits she’s buried in an avalanche of forms but working through it.
Rose says, “What do you tell those folks who believe they sent in their paperwork and now are faced with cancellation? If they sent in their paperwork, we’re working through it. We are receiving, I think you may have heard we received 33 buckets of mail on Monday. We are acknowledging every document that we get. It takes us two business days to open everything, account for it and get a letter out acknowledging that we got it.”
Wednesday’s mail at KidCare consisted of seven boxes of renewal forms from parents trying to beat the Monday deadline. More than 6,000 renewals have come in this week.
Tampa Sen. Les Miller says lawmakers’ efforts to improve KidCare created a bureaucratic nightmare.
Sen. Les Miller says, “We’re talking about people having problems getting the paperwork in on time, being dropped from the rolls on Monday because of circumstances beyond their control, or just too much paperwork for them to get it together. We need to do something.”
In the meantime, we put frustrated mom Leslie Conway on the phone with KidCare’s Rose Naff who told her they just found the second batch of forms Leslie sent in.
"We know that your package did arrive on the 23rd and your children’s coverage will continue," they responded with.
But many other families may not be so lucky.
Tampa Sen. Les Miller wants lawmakers to address KidCare during the special legislative session later this month. If not, he’s promising to bring the issue up again in the spring.
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