© 2024 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Get the latest coverage of the 2023 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

A KidCare expansion plan is heading to DeSantis

DeSantis smiling with his arms open wide
Justin Bright
/
Fresh Take Florida
Gov. Ron DeSantis smiles after his 2020 State of the State Speech in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Florida Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a plan to expand eligibility for the KidCare subsidized health-insurance program, readying the issue to go to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Florida Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a plan to expand eligibility for the KidCare subsidized health-insurance program, readying the issue to go to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Senate vote came after the House unanimously passed the bill (HB 121) last month.

Senate sponsor Alexis Calatayud, R-Miami, said the bill would help low-income families “continue the climb to upward mobility” while ensuring that children receive health coverage. Under KidCare, families who do not qualify for Medicaid can pay $15 or $20 a month in premiums to insure children.

Subsidized coverage is available to families with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $60,000 for a family of four, according to a House staff analysis. The bill would increase that threshold to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $90,000 for a family of four.

The proposed expansion comes as many families will be dropped in the coming months from Medicaid because of the end of a “public health emergency” that the federal government declared in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic began. As part of the emergency, Washington agreed to pick up more of the tab for Medicaid, which is jointly funded by states and the federal government.

In exchange for the extra money, states had to agree that they wouldn’t drop people from the Medicaid rolls during the emergency.

The KidCare program also receives federal funding as part of what is known as the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.