Florida Moves To Increase Health Insurance For Children

Capitol News Service reports that an estimated 50,000 additional uninsured children may receive medical coverage from legislation that Gov. Charlie Crist signed Tuesday. “The Kid Care program offers low cost insurance to children up to ages 19. But penalties and a lengthy application process have kept thousand of families out," Capitol News Service reports. "The legislation shortens the waiting time to enroll in the state’s Kid Care program and lessens the penalties for missing a premium payment." Children’s advocates have been pushing for the legislation for three years and call it a good start. The program enrolls 1.5 million children, but a lack of advertising money has hindered its ability to "spread the word" further (Ray, 6/2). 

The Miami Herald notes that the legislation will expand the role of certain advocates, known as guardians ad litem, to protect children's legal rights. The paper also reported that "while up to 50,000 more children may get Kid Care, the bill does not expand eligibility: The children of state workers, undocumented immigrant children and pregnant women remain ineligible” (Bousquet and Reinhard, 6/2).

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