This from a recent study by Joan Alker who is the Executive Director at the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University on behalf of Florida Philanthropic Network: “Florida’s child uninsured rate was 11.1% compared to a national average of 7.1% in 2013.”
“Florida has the highest uninsured rate for children in the Southeast and the 5th highest in the nation… Florida is one of 25 states that has not elected to use CHIP funding to cover lawfully residing immigrant children.”
What can be done?
Below is an update on the bill and its implications from HUF partner, United Way of Broward County.
KidCare Five-Year Waiting Period For Legal Immigrant Children
Immigrant children lawfully residing in Florida are required by state law to wait five years before they are eligible for KidCare. During those five years, many forego needed health care that could not only improve their quality of life, but help them succeed in school. The cost to the state for providing health care coverage to the projected 22,602 eligible children would be $4.8 million, while the federal government would pick up the rest of the tab ($41.5 million).
SB 294 and HB 829 would eliminate the waiting period, so sick children can see a doctor when needed. The Senate bill has already passed unanimously out of the Health Policy Committee and the Health and Human Service Appropriation Committee. Unfortunately, the House bill has not yet been heard.