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Streamlining Florida's Health Insurance Program for Children

A bill to streamline the requirements passed two committees Tuesday.

Stacy Justiss is one of thousands of parents who found herself overwhelmed by all the paperwork she had to submit to keep her three children enrolled in the KidCare insurance program.

She just sent her 16-page packet in after several stressful days of digging out pay stubs, tax forms and W-2s.

Stacy says, “When you look at the piece of paper and you see all that stuff they need, you go and you search for it and you find it, but you have all this stuff that you’re needing to get in your mind and it’s all, well, did I get this, is this right, is this going to be enough?”

Legislative leaders just agreed this week to reconsider the new requirements after learning thousands of kids may have slipped through the cracks. Democrats had been hollering for months about the looming crisis.

Rep. Eleanor Sobel is glad someone finally listened.

Rep. Eleanor Sobel, (D) Hollywood, FL, says, "Fifty five thousand people have not gotten their papers through, so that must be an indication that there is a major problem out there."

One of the big surprises here is that lawmakers are actually admitting they may have made a mistake with some of the changes they made to the KidCare program, mainly creating a bureaucratic nightmare for families who don’t have the resources to work their way through it.

"I don’t think anyone fully understood the unintended consequences this might have on the paperwork people, were going to have to get together to qualify, but upon further reflection, it appears like we may have gone too far."

Families like the Justiss family say they want to follow the rules. They just want the state to make those rules a little easier.

Lawmakers are still trying to work out which document would be accepted to prove KidCare eligibility, whether it would be a W-2 form, tax return, pay stubs, or something else, but Senate President Tom Lee is pledging they will get something passed this week.


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