- Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill expanding eligibility for the subsidized health insurance program KidCare in Florida.
- The new law increases income eligibility limits for the program from 200 percent to 250 percent of the federal poverty level, effective July 2023, and from 250 percent to 300 percent, effective July 2024.
- The legislation also introduces tiered family contribution levels, ensuring different premium and co-payment levels based on income for families enrolled in the program.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 121 into law this week, broadening eligibility requirements for the subsidized health insurance program KidCare.
The legislation raises the income eligibility limits within the program from 200 percent to 250 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), effective July 1, 2023, and from 250 percent to 300 percent, effective July 1, 2024.
Under the bill, the total monthly family payment for participants is $15 or $20 for families with incomes between 133 percent and 200 percent of the FPL. The per-child monthly premium rate is $210.18 for full-pay MediKids coverage and $259.50 for full-pay Healthy Kids coverage, including dental coverage.
It also requires the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation and the Agency for Health Care Administration to develop a minimum of three, but not more than five, tiered family contribution levels, meaning that families who qualify for the Florida Kidcare program would have different levels of premiums and co-payments based on their income levels.
“Too often the welfare system punishes working parents by abruptly taking away government benefits when they earn a few extra dollars,” said Sen. Alexis Calatayud. “No family should ever have to choose between a pay raise and their children’s health.”
Florida KidCare offers four different types of coverage: MediKids, Florida Healthy Kids, Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan, and Medicaid, with each plan holding varying sets of benefits, co-payments, and eligibility requirements.MediKids is for children ages 1 through 4, Florida Healthy Kids is for children ages 5 through 18, Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan is for children with special healthcare needs, and Medicaid is for children from low-income families who meet certain eligibility criteria.
As of March, 4,883 children are enrolled in subsidized MediKids, with 3,280 children enrolled in MediKids under the full-pay option. 76,340 children are enrolled in subsidized Healthy Kids, while 21,650 children are enrolled in Healthy Kids under the full-pay option.
In total, 2,466,597 children are enrolled in the Medicaid program, according to a Senate legislation analysis.
Florida KidCare is funded by both the state and federal government and administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families.