TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Florida’s subsidized health insurance program for kids under age 18 sailed through the Legislature just in time to help families who are struggling to find affordable healthcare options.
In April, Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) began a review of Medicaid eligibility that will affect children whose families no longer qualify for coverage.
But the newly passed package raises income eligibility limits for the state’s affordable KidCare program from 200 percent to 250 percent of the federal poverty level, with a further increase to 300 percent in July. The changes allow the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation and the Agency for Health Care Administration to offer tiered premiums and copayments based on family income levels.
Total monthly payments for most families are $15 to $20 per month. For families with income above the subsidy threshold, a full-pay option is available for just over $200 per month – significantly cheaper than individual health insurance from the marketplace.
It also requires the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation and the Agency for Health Care Administration to develop a minimum of three, but not more than five, tiered family contribution levels.
“Too often the welfare system punishes working parents by abruptly taking away government benefits when they earn a few extra dollars,” said Sen. Alexis Calatayud (R-Miami). “No family should ever have to choose between a pay raise and their children’s health.”
Florida KidCare is funded by both the state and federal government and administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families.