Applications are pouring in by the thousands to KidCare headquarters. Parents are scrambling to meet the January 30 deadline to sign their kids up for low-cost health insurance.
At a Capitol news conference, Executive Director Rose Naff said KidCare is adding phone lines to handle 8,600 more calls a day and 30 more people to speed up the application process.
Rose says, "Phones have been busy, staffs have been working hard, our cuticles are raw, the mail room is an excruciating experience, you’ve seen it a couple of times, but we get the mail out. We get it completely processed by noon every day.”
But when you’re getting thousands of applications in all at once from parents trying to beat the deadline, is it really the best system? Some lawmakers say no.
Lawmakers did make it easier to enroll last month when they cut paperwork from three to just one document to prove your income, but House Minority Leader Chris Smith says having only a 30-day window isn’t practical.
Rep. Chris Smith says, "You’re talking a month when you’re coming off the holidays and the kids are going back to school and you’re doing so many other things. To do this is a little troubling."
But Florida’s chief financial officer says the real crisis families are facing is a lack of affordable insurance.
CFO Tom Gallagher says, "Many small businesses in Florida are finding it impossible to provide health insurance for their employees and it’s not just Florida. This is a nationwide problem."
In the meantime, at least parents can get their kids covered by signing up for KidCare this month.