The legislation returns the low-cost KidCare insurance program to year-round enrollment, which should allow many more kids to qualify.
Parents hope problems created by the Legislature in the first place have finally been solved.
Cindy Enfinger can’t afford standard health insurance for her adopted special-needs daughter, but she wasn’t able to navigate the red tape in time to get her baby into the KidCare program last winter. She hopes the new law opening enrollment year-round will finally mean her baby gets the health care she desperately needs.
Cindy says, “When I saw it in the newspaper today, it kind of went through my mind, well, just maybe at least in a couple of months I can re-file and maybe they’ll reconsider.”
KidCare enrollment used to be year-round, but lawmakers changed it to 30-day enrollment periods once or twice a year. Parents couldn’t get their paperwork through in time and more than 100,000 kids lost coverage.
Pediatrician Louis St. Petery is glad lawmakers changed it back, but doesn’t get why they messed with it in the first place.
Dr. Louis St. Petery says, “All of the things, the documentation, all the limitations, tend to prevent eligible kids from getting into needed health care.”
Unfortunately, families still won’t be able to get their children into KidCare right away. The law requires a meeting of legislative officials to project future costs of the program before enrollment can be opened back up again.
KidCare promises they’ll be ready to go once they finally get the green light.
Fred Knapp with Florida KidCare says, “We have put additional staff at our call center on the phones. We have walked through all the different processes that the paperwork goes through to make sure it runs smoothly during this open enrollment period.
Parents like Cindy hope he’s right.
KidCare says parents who’ve already applied but missed the deadline last January will be contacted with a special number and time to call to get enrolled. Others are encouraged to start getting their paperwork together so they’ll be prepared when enrollment is announced.
You can call 1-888-540-5437 toll free to find out about eligibility and paperwork requirements.