Florida families with uninsured children can now apply for affordable quality health coverage through Healthy Kids. A 30-day open-enrollment period for the state-subsidized health insurance program began on January 1, 2005 and will continue through January 30, 2005. Children enrolled in the program receive regular doctor’s visits, immunizations and dental appointments at a monthly premium their working parents can afford.
Under new guidelines just approved by the Florida legislature, families need only supply one document verifying their income. Uninsured children 18 years of age and under who do not qualify for Medicaid are eligible for the program.
“We are working hard to get the word out to families with uninsured children that coverage is available through Healthy Kids,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher during a press briefing in Tallahassee today. ”We’ve made it easier for kids to get insured and we have more than 70,000 spots available to fill the program. The time to act is now!”
The KidCare open enrollment period is a joint effort between Florida Healthy Kids, the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA).
In the first nine days of open enrollment, 22,836 applications were received at the Healthy Kids office in Tallahassee. According to Healthy Kids Executive Director Rose Naff, this high volume is the most ever received in the history of the program, however, it’s slightly behind their goal of 25,000 applications a week necessary to fill the program. To accommodate this record setting pace of applications being received, Naff told reporters there are more phone lines and Healthy Kids personnel available to help parents enroll their children.
“We can take applications by mail, fax and e-mail,” Naff said. “We have 268 phone lines open and 198 customer service representatives standing by to walk parents through the open enrollment process. Our goal is to make sure every uninsured child in Florida has access to this program.”
Applications for open enrollment are available to download on the Internet at http://www.healthykids.org/application/ or families can call 1-888-540-KIDS (1-888-540-5437) to receive an application in the mail. Applications are also available at DCF service centers, most hospitals and some doctor’s offices. For more information on where families can obtain an application in their community, log on to www.healthykids.org.
During the 30-day open enrollment period, parents must complete a one-page application form, attach a copy of their most recent federal income tax return and send it to Healthy Kids before January 30, 2005. If the parent is unable to provide their tax return, they may send wages and earnings statements or pay stubs.
Healthy Kids coverage will begin when eligibility has been determined and the full premium amount has been received. The amount of each premium is based on household size and monthly income. Most families pay either $15 or $20 per family per month; however, some families may pay more.
Healthy Kids can only accept applications received between January 1 and January 30, 2005. Applications received after this open enrollment period cannot be processed.
Florida Healthy Kids is a public-private partnership created by the Florida Legislature in 1990 to provide comprehensive, affordable health care coverage to previously uninsured children in Florida.
Our masthead for January is a view of the County Courthouse located downtown in beautiful Madison County, Florida.