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KidCare touts enrollment growth

Florida KidCare announced Tuesday that an additional 62,500 children have enrolled in the government-financed health insurance program during the past year. More than 2.1 million residents under the age of 18 receive health and dental coverage through Medicaid and other programs administered by the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the departments of Health, and Children and Families.

The low-cost insurance program provides comprehensive coverage that includes doctor visits, immunizations, prescriptions and dental, vision and hearing screenings through the state and federal governments Medicaid, Medikids, Healthy Kids, and the Children’s Medical Services Network. Enrollment has increased more than 50 percent since 2007 when 1.4 million children received KidCare coverage.

“We stood together a year ago and pledged to increase the number of children covered by this wonderful program,” said Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. “These collective efforts have paid off ... As a result, millions of Florida kids are enjoying safer childhoods and healthier futures.”

According to the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, Florida reduced the number of uninsured children from 14.8 percent to 11.9 percent from 2009 through 2011. However, Florida remains among the top three states with the highest rates of uninsured children, about 475,000. The Center estimates about 80 percent of eligible children are enrolled in KidCare. Most families pay $15 to $20 a month for KidCare coverage and the program offers a full-pay option for those not eligible for subsidized coverage.

“This milestone in enrollment numbers tells us that our Florida families are embracing what Florida KidCare has to offer,” said Liz Dudek, Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration. “However, as advocates of Florida KidCare, we must recommit ourselves to helping decrease the number of children in our state who still aren’t covered with health insurance.”

Related Research:* Florida KidCare Statewide Enrollment Trends through July 2013* Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families report "Uninsured Children 2009-2011: Charting the Nation's Progress"

 

Reporter James Call can be reached at [email protected]

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