Florida Healthy Kids

Press

Healthy Kids Press Contact,
Ashley Carr, Communications and Marketing Director,
(850) 701-6142, carra@healthykids.org.

06/10/2004

June 10, 2004

Campaign Will Keep Eligible Children Insured

"Project Pathfinder" guides parents through KidCare re-enrollment period for a smooth transition

Tallahassee - Florida KidCare will provide affordable, quality health care coverage for more children than ever before thanks to increased funding provided by the 2004 Florida Legislature. An aggressive campaign launched today is aimed at assuring a smooth re-enrollment for current program participants and all children who were previously on a waiting list.

"With the strong support of the Legislature we will be able to extend services to more than 350,000 children in 2005, up from 50,000 in 1998," said Kenney Shipley, Chair Designee, Florida Healthy Kids. "The increased funding and increased accountability improves the viability of this program, not just for next year, but for many years to come."

This year KidCare was expanded to include 90,000 eligible children who were waiting for health benefits. In addition, the Legislature made changes to the KidCare program to increase accountability and bring the program's enrollment procedures in line with other states, and with private insurance enrollment provisions.

These changes mean participants will only have to re-enroll once a year on their anniversary, instead of the current re-enrollment every six months. Open enrollment for new participants will begin in 2005 and take place twice - first in January and then again in September. Changes to the application are minimal.

Parents will be required to provide proof of the income they already report, and they will have to answer a question about health insurance provided by their employer. However, if the cost of coverage through their employer is less than 5% of their income, they will still be eligible for KidCare, but at a slightly higher premium.

Department of Health Secretary Dr. John Agwunobi joined Shipley and Healthy Kids Executive Director Rose Naff at a media briefing in Tallahassee Thursday on "Project Pathfinder," a comprehensive effort by Healthy Kids to guide parents through re-enrollment to ensure continued coverage for their children.

Through "Project Pathfinder," parents with children currently enrolled in KidCare will receive detailed information about the re-enrollment period and what they'll need to provide Healthy Kids to verify their children are still eligible for benefits. "Project Pathfinder" includes comprehensive measures to track down families who may have moved or do not respond to the initial re-enrollment request. Once contacted, staff members will be available to help them get their paperwork filled out correctly.

"We plan to take these parents by the hand and guide them through this new process for a smooth transition," Naff said. "We are committed to making sure the changes do not result in the loss of coverage for any eligible children. The changes enacted this year also create a sound business model that will allow this program to continue for years to come."

Dr. Agwunobi explained, "These programs provide valuable health care services to Florida's most vulnerable - our children. I applaud the efforts of Governor Bush and the Legislature to ensure long term stability in these essential programs."

Families wanting more information about the KidCare re-enrollment period can call 1-800-821-KIDS (5437).

Related Documents

Healthy Kids Press Contact,
Ashley Carr, Communications and Marketing Director,
(850) 701-6142, carra@healthykids.org.