Joan Alker asks: Why Does Florida Still Have one of the Highest Uninsured Rates for Kids?

Unity for kids 17 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?

Our state legislators could take action on SB 294 and HB 829

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 ChildrenUnity for kids 16
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.

Call or reach out to your representative today if this is an important issue to you.
Don’t know who she/he is?
Find your Senator here.
Find your House of Representative here.

About HUF

Founded in 1982 as a haven for immigrants and refugees, HUF has grown to serve diverse and multi-cultural working families from the United States as well as more than 25 other countries. We provide a range of wrap-around services to help more than 17,000 clients of all ages, from preschoolers to adults, successfully transition to a productive new life. HUF offers 12 programs and services in four languages - English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Sign Language. South Florida’s unique geographic location has made it a popular destination for Caribbean and Latin American immigrants, as well as others from throughout the world. Often arriving with little more than the clothes on their backs, a few dollars in pocket change, with no job, language, skills or understanding of the life that awaits them on America’s shores – they still come with hopes and dreams. Hispanic Unity of Florida is proud and grateful to be South Florida’s “Ellis Island” for new immigrants arriving in South Florida.
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