The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation (Corporation) today celebrates that 2019-2020 fiscal year legislative budget negotiations have included funding for a proposal submitted by the Corporation to lower the cost of health insurance for families in its full-pay program. Families earning a household annual income above 200% of the federal poverty limit or $51,500 for a family of four are potentially eligible for the full-pay plan. This proposal eliminates costly $3,000 medical and $1,500 pharmacy annual deductibles, along with a 25% coinsurance requirement, for the nearly 15,000 children ages 5-18 who are currently enrolled in the Florida Healthy Kids full-pay insurance plan. Additionally, an estimated 146,000 uninsured children in Florida stand to benefit from this more affordable insurance option, which is set to become effective January 1, 2020.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said, “Every child in our state deserves access to vital health services and adding Florida Healthy Kids to this year’s budget is a big win for Florida families. Many more kids will now be able to access health care, and I thank Senate President Galvano and Speaker Oliva for including this in the budget. Dr. Haridopolos has been a true advocate on this issue, and I will continue to work side-by-side with her to fight for child-centric health insurance for those who need it. Families deserve peace of mind to know their kids have access to affordable, quality health care.”
Chair of the Corporation’s Board of Directors, Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos said, “It has been a pleasure to work alongside the Florida Legislature this year to help make insurance for children more affordable. There are many great champions for Florida KidCare across the state, and I am especially grateful to Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, House Speaker Jose Oliva, Senate President Bill Galvano, Representative Chris Sprowls, Senator Aaron Bean, along with Representative Travis Cummings and Senator Rob Bradley, for helping make this funding proposal a reality. As a doctor, I know the important role access to health care can play in a child’s long-term health, and I thank the House and Senate for their commitment to our next generation. I look forward to engaging with Governor DeSantis on this important step for Florida families as he considers the budget in the coming days.”
Corporation CEO Rebecca Matthews said, “Thank you to the entire Florida Legislature for their commitment to making insurance for Florida’s children more affordable. We believe every child deserves access to the health care they need to grow up strong, healthy and happy. We will work tirelessly to make sure every Florida family knows that affordable options are available through the Florida KidCare program.”
This effort is a reality in part due to a provision included in the 2018 federal reauthorization act to continue the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is the largest underlying federal funding source for Florida KidCare. The provision allows states to receive matching federal funds to combine subsidized and non-subsidized insurance plans for rating purposes in order to lower the costs of non-subsidized programs.
This cost reduction applies to those children ages 5-18 otherwise eligible for the Florida Healthy Kids plan.