Children’s Health Care Insurance Update Draws Statewide Interest

Childrens Health Care Insurance UpdateMore than 120 community leaders and children’s health advocates from around Florida registered to hear the results of new research into the status of children’s health insurance coverage in Florida in a webinar on December 3.

The research, conducted by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, was commissioned by the Florida Philanthropic Network (FPN) and its Florida Health Funders member affinity group, with funding coming from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) and the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund.

Joan Alker,  Executive Director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, reviewed the research which is summarized in an educational brief titled, “Children’s Health Coverage in Florida: Fewer Uninsured But Challenges Lie Ahead.”

She noted the topic was particularly timely because Congress has just started debating the renewal of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which covers many low- and moderate-income children in the state. In Florida, the program is called KidCare/Healthy Kids. The funding expires Sept. 30, 2015 if Congress fails to take action.

According to the brief, the number of uninsured children in Florida ages 18 and under dropped from 668,000 to 445,000 between 2008 and 2013. Still, the state ranks 49th in the country for the number of uninsured children, and 47th among states and the District of Columbia when it comes to the percent of children who are uninsured—11.1 percent.

Ms. Alker also noted there are some policy changes Florida could make to further reduce the number of uninsured children. These include extending KidCare to cover lawfully residing immigrant children, eliminating the waiting period for coverage and eliminating premiums for some or all families which can serve as a barrier to enrollment.

To view the archived webinar, go to

To view webinar slides, go to