MIAMI — A law has taken effect in Florida that aims to close the gap in which families with children whose income is too high can receive benefits from Medicaid However, they are forced to pay for health insurance that they cannot afford.
The new law, known as HB 121, would expand KidCare from 200% of the federal poverty level to 300% to offer subsidized health insurance to children whose families have income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level.
Until last December, children in a family of four could get health insurance through Florida KidCare if they earned a maximum of $64,500 a year. Beginning in January 2024, eligibility will expand to an income of $83,250.
The measure represents relief for families who were excluded from Medicaid after the end of the federal government’s COVID-related public health emergency, which subsidized a significant portion of Medicaid costs.
Some studies have shown that with the end of the health emergency, more than 1.7 Floridians will be left without Medicaid coverage, many of whom will be children. The new rule protects the health of these minors.
Florida KidCare brings together four federal and state government-sponsored health insurance programs that together provide continuous coverage for Florida children from birth to age 18.
Florida KidCare coverage includes doctor visits, vision services, hospital stays, vaccines, emergency care, preventive screenings, mental health, dental care, surgery, prescriptions and other benefits.