Florida KidCare

Rene Garcia
Florida Senate / FLSenate.gov

Twin bills floating through Florida’s legislature would make it easier for immigrant children to receive health care. Expanding KidCare for Florida children would cost just under five million dollars.

Leroy Carter is a recent immigrant to the U.S. About a month ago, he tried and failed to get health insurance for his child who is here. Carter says he makes too much as a part-time worker to qualify for some care. But his problem is also that he just arrived.

Rene Garcia
Florida Senate / FLSenate.gov

More children could soon be allowed to sign up for the low-income health insurance program, KidCare.

SB 282 will eliminate a five-year waiting period for legal immigrant children to get healthcare.  It will allow nearly 30,000 low-income, legally residing children to participate in the KidCare insurance program.  Bill sponsor, Sen. Rene Garcia of Miami, says the proposal is long overdue and will not cost the state much money.

More than two million Florida children are now enrolled in the state’s health insurance program for low income kids. Regan McCarthy reports the organization hit a record number of participants in March.

Florida Healthy Kids Executive Director Rich Robleto says the increased number of kids getting enrolled in the state’s Kidcare program is a good thing.

Florida counties will have to pay more than $300 million dollars in disputed Medicaid claims under a bill signed Thursday by Governor Rick Scott. Lynn Hatter has more.

The counties claim the state’s Medicaid billing system is filled with errors and that they’re being charged for claims they don’t actually owe. The law requires the counties to pay 85-percent of their bills, or 100-percent of the bill with the right to sue. Republican State Representative Matt Hudson says the new law also sets up what he calls “a payment plan.”

Florida’s state employees may not have received a raise in years, but the lowest-paid state workers could be in line for a new benefit.  Tom Flanigan reports a Senate committee has voted to allow those employees to enroll their children in Florida’s low-income healthcare service.

For years, children in Florida’s low-income families have had an option for low-cost medical coverage called “Kidcare”.  But members of the Senate’s Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee learned Thursday that one group of low-paid Floridians doesn’t have that option available to them.