Florida KidCare

The children’s health care system in Florida ranks near the bottom of the country — particularly in health insurance rates.

Statewide, 17.8 percent of children 18 and under in Florida were uninsured during 2008-2009. Northeast Florida is no different than the rest of the state. Almost 20 percent of children in the region age 18 and under are uninsured, a total of 71,500 kids. But more than half of those children are potentially eligible for free or low-cost health coverage through either Medicaid or Florida KidCare.

A family of four can make up to $44,100 a year and still qualify for subsidized health insurance for their children. Premiums for Florida KidCare cost $15 or $20 a month for comprehensive coverage for all children; families that qualify for Medicaid pay nothing.

What are we doing locally?

Locally, outreach has been funded through the end of 2011. The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation awarded the Coalition $22,000 in funding for a grant that runs from November 15, 2010 to June 30, 2011. The grant includes funding for stipends for two additional outreach workers, who are serving as liaisons to the local chambers of commerce and staff community enrollment sites where families can apply for the program.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville awarded the Coalition $20,000 for a grant that runs from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011. This grant includes funding for an additional 1.5 outreach workers. Under this grant, emergency departments, urgent care centers, pediatrician offices and school health offices will be trained on how to enroll uninsured children into Florida KidCare. An outreach worker will also available on the Ronald McDonald Care Van, which provides health care to students in Duval County. The Jacksonville Children’s Commission provided a $35,000 local match.