Florida’s 436,000 Uninsured Children

PRESS STATEMENT
November 20, 2013

Contact:  Leah Barber-Heinz / 850-294-6087 / leahb@floridachain.org
Damien Filer / 850-212-1858 / dfiler@50plus1.com

Georgetown University Report Finds Good News for Florida Children
Though rates are down, there is much work to be done to cover Florida’s 436,000 uninsured children

A new report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families found the number of uninsured children has declined by 14 percent between 2010 and 2012.  The report attributes the good news to the success of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (known as Kid Care in Florida).  According to a poll released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families in conjunction with the report, only 13 percent of those surveyed nationally realized the uninsured rate was declining for children.

“Medicaid and CHIP are examples of federal-state partnership programs that work,” said Joan Alker of Georgetown University’s CCF. “Together they have successfully driven down the uninsured rate for children and are a testament to what states can accomplish when they lean in and work with the federal government to meet the needs of their families. ”

With an estimated 436,000 of Florida’s children still going without health insurance, there is considerable room for improvement.

“When children’s health needs are met, they are able to show up to school able to learn,” said Alker. “Investing in our children today creates a stronger workforce for tomorrow.”

The Georgetown University report found that in 2012, 89.1 percent of Florida’s children had coverage as compared to the 98.6 percent coverage rate for seniors. Children and seniors fare much better than adults ages 18 to 64, who have only a 71.2 percent coverage rate in Florida.

“Florida can continue to make progress and cover the remaining uninsured children, which is still way too high, by removing roadblocks such as the five year waiting period for children of lawfully residing immigrants,” said Leah Barber-Heinz of Florida CHAIN. “Florida can also do right by our kids by expanding Medicaid coverage for their parents and other adults. When parents don’t have to worry about unpaid medical bills, the whole family is more financially secure and children’s health needs are more likely to be met. ”

Most uninsured children are already eligible for KidCare coverage but their families are not aware of it. Families can call 1-888-540-5437 to learn more.

###