Monthly premium relief provided in 12 counties
Following the devastating impact of Hurricane Michael, the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation (Corporation) Board of Directors has taken action to ensure kids living in the hardest hit areas do not lose their health insurance coverage. At the direction of Governor Scott, Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) Secretary Justin Senior sent a letter to the Corporation requesting a waiver of premiums for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and full-pay enrollees for the months of November, December and January. Today, the Board approved the use of corporate funds to pay the monthly premiums for children for November, December and January in many parts of the Florida Panhandle. Doing so provides financial relief for families and ensures that current Florida KidCare enrollees will have coverage through the end of January. No family action is necessary. This step assists the families of 5,604 enrolled children living in the impacted areas.
Florida Chief Financial Officer and Florida Healthy Kids Board Chair Jimmy Patronis said, “Florida has never seen devastation and destruction like what Hurricane Michael did to our state. My hometown and many others were leveled, but I am committed to doing whatever it takes to help these families get back on their feet. I am proud of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation for stepping up to take care of these families in their time of need.”
Florida Healthy Kids Corporation CEO Rebecca Matthews said, “Families living in the Panhandle are facing a long road to recovery, but I hope that today we can take one worry away by ensuring their children have access to the health care they may need in the weeks ahead.”
Agency for Healthcare Administration Secretary Justin Senior said, “Today’s decision will ensure that thousands of children are able to keep their health insurance over the next few months as Florida’s Panhandle recovers from Hurricane Michael. Our Agency, with Governor Scott’s direction, recommended that premiums be paid for the 12 counties approved for FEMA individual assistance, and we are happy that the Florida Healthy Kids Board has agreed with our recommendation. Together, the Agency and our partners will ensure that no children lose their insurance coverage due to Hurricane Michael.”
Florida KidCare is covering monthly premium payments in the 12 counties designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as eligible for individual assistance. They include: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington. The Board also approved a renewal extension period until February 1, 2019, for families living in those 12 counties whose regular annual renewal falls between November 1, 2018, and January 1, 2019.
This premium relief applies to the following Florida KidCare programs:
- MediKids: Subsidized and full-pay coverage for children ages 1 through 4.
- Florida Healthy Kids: Subsidized and full-pay coverage for children ages 5 through 18.
- Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan (CMS Plan): Subsidized coverage for children with special health care needs from birth through age 18.
The Board’s action does not apply to Florida KidCare children enrolled in Medicaid because these children receive free coverage and do not pay a monthly premium.
Additionally, the Corporation is working with the contracted health insurance companies operating in these areas to ensure adequate network availability following the storm, broadening networks as necessary to ensure the availability of providers to see patients.
About the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation
The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation is a nonprofit, public-private partnership created by the Florida Legislature to expand access to affordable, child-centered health insurance. The Corporation administers Florida Healthy Kids a comprehensive health and dental insurance program for Florida children from age 5 through the end of age 18. The Corporation also provides marketing, customer services and administrative services for Florida KidCare.