Florida wants to make sure thousands of children don’t fall through the cracks when it switches to a new enrollment system for KidCare insurance.
Florida lawmakers put more money into the KidCare program this spring to cover more kids, but they also tightened the eligibility requirements.
Tanisha Johnson was one of thousands of parents whose child was on the waiting list for KidCare this spring. When lawmakers expanded the program, she was finally able to get health insurance for her eight-year-old daughter Kanyra.
Tanisha says, “Now, if she gets sick or whatever, I can just call and make an appointment, walk in, I just pay my little 15 dollar a month co-pay.”
But now parents will have to provide proof of their income to show they’re eligible, and also say whether their workplace offers insurance they can afford. Rose Naff oversees the low-cost insurance program. She points to a copy of the forms KidCare staffers will help people fill out.
With more than 350,000 children enrolled in KidCare, they don’t want anyone to be tossed out simply because of red tape.
Rose Naff says, “There have been some reports some people might fall through the cracks. You don’t want that to happen, absolutely not. An eligible child should continue in the program and we can learn from some of the mistakes other states have made along the way. We’re embarking on an aggressive campaign of communication with the families, and making sure that they’re able to complete the process.”
The new project pathfinder will even track down KidCare families who may have moved to make sure they keep their info up to date.
Tanisha Johnson hopes it works.
“All kids need insurance, not just my daughter, all kids ‘cuz I don’t know a lot of people who have money just to pay out of pocket, go to the doctors. It’s very expensive,” she says.
Letters to more than 30,000 additional families go out this week so their kids can get health coverage too. For more information on new enrollment dates and on the KidCare program itself, you can call 1-800-821-KIDS.