State health agencies are relaxing premium deadlines this month for the state’s KidCare programs, giving the many low-income families in the system a little room to breathe post-Irma.
The Agency for Health Care Administration announced the extension along with the Florida Department of Health Children’s Medical Services (CMS) and Florida Healthy Kids Corporation in a Monday press release.
AHCA said families with a KidCare beneficiary who live in one of the 48 counties designated by the Federal Emergency Management Administration as eligible for individual assistance will have until the last day of the month to pay October’s premium.
Upon payment, families will have KidCare coverage restored back to Oct. 1.
The counties FEMA lists as eligible are: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union and Volusia.
KidCare provides free, subsidized or full-cost health coverage for Florida children through one of four programs, depending on their family’s income and household size.
AHCA said extension applies to MediKids, which covers children from 1 to 4 years old, and Florida Healthy Kids for children ages 5 through 18. The CMS Managed Care Plan, which covers the state’s most medically complex children from birth to adulthood, is also included.
Florida KidCare also oversees Florida children enrolled in Medicaid, though Medicaid recipients do not pay a monthly premium for coverage.
KidCare says most participants are not charged a premium for coverage, and those who are typically pay between $15 and $20 a month. Florida KidCare accepts premium payments online, and charges a convenience fee for the privilege, but as of Monday night there was no information regarding the deadline extension on the website’s front page or any of the stops leading to the online payment page.