Healthy Kids Press Contact,
Ashley Carr, Chief Marketing Officer,
(850) 701-6160, [email protected].
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation Board of Directors approved contracts for four health plans to continue to provide subsidized Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for qualified low-income children on June 9, 2016 and today approved one plan that will continue to offer full-pay coverage for families with household income above 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or more than $48,500 for a family of four.
The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation serves nearly 165,000 children, between the ages of 5-18, who are eligible for the subsidized CHIP plans. These families will continue to pay $15 or $20 per month based on household income. The following companies will continue to offer the CHIP plan effective October 1, 2016: Amerigroup Florida, Inc., Coventry Healthcare of Florida, Inc., United Healthcare of Florida, Inc., and Wellcare Healthplans, Inc. d/b/a/ Staywell Kids. At least two CHIP plan options will continue to be available in every Florida county.
Sunshine Health, the current statewide full-pay provider for more than 12,000 children, will continue to offer full-pay coverage options for families not eligible for subsidized CHIP coverage. The “Stars” option will continue to be offered with no premium increase at $220 (including dental) per month through at least December 31, 2017. The “Stars Plus” option will be offered with no premium increase at $299 (including dental) until that option is retired on December 31, 2016. Sunshine Health will offer the “Stars Plus” option for an additional three months to allow time for families to shop the Federal Marketplace, the private market and employer coverage options to ensure they experience no gaps in health insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, like last year, the Affordable Care Act continues to adversely impact premiums, making health insurance cost prohibitive for many families buying full-pay coverage for their children. Sunshine Health determined the “Star Plus” option was no longer a financially viable option to offer through Florida Healthy Kids. However, as compared to most private and federal marketplace plans, the continuation of the “Stars” option will provide broader, child-centered coverage, including comprehensive medical, dental and preventative services that children need at each stage of their growth and development, as well as broader access to pediatric services, specialists, dentists, clinics and hospitals.
“The Board recognizes that another premium increase in the full-pay option, on top of last year’s increase, would be difficult for Florida families to absorb. The consequence of the Affordable Care Act is that many families are being priced out of full-pay coverage. If a family determines the “Stars” option does not fit their needs, they will be able to transition to other coverage in the private market, the Federal Marketplace or through their employer. Notwithstanding these challenges, we look forward to working with all of our partners to provide Florida families with child-centered health plans that provide comprehensive, quality health care services," said Chair Wendy Link.
In the next few weeks, Florida Healthy Kids will begin notifying families affected by the full-pay plan changes and assist these families with transitioning their coverage. A dedicated section of the website will be activated including Frequently Asked Questions, along with additional information to help families understand their options and decide which plan is best suited for their family.
For more information about each full-pay option, visit www.healthykids.org.