Florida KidCare Program “Treading Water”, Said Director

MIAMI (CBSMIami/NSF) – A program to help Florida kids who are poor, but not poor enough for Medicaid, is not growing despite a poor economy that’s leaving parents without extra money or, in some cases, jobs and health insurance for their families.

In a report in Kaiser Health News, Rich Robleto, executive director of the Florida Healthy Kids Corp., which runs KidCare, said it is “almost as if we are treading water.”

The program primarily offers low-cost health insurance to children whose families make too much money to qualify for Medicaid — but can’t afford private insurance. It enrolls about 275,000 children, though growth was less than 1 percent during the year that ended June 30, according to Kaiser.

Robleto, said the program loses thousands of children each month to Medicaid because their family incomes fall. Also, he said about 10,000 children have dropped out of the program because of a new federal requirement that parents prove they are United States citizens before kids can be covered.

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