Health Advice



After losing Medicaid, parents of Florida's sickest kids are in limbo

Caroline Catherman, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Health & Fitness

In the meantime, he has enrolled his son in Florida Healthy Kids, part of the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program. He has two daughters on Healthy Kids, and it’s better than nothing, he said, but he worries it won’t come close to meeting all his son’s care needs.

Healthy Kids does not provide as much coverage for medically complex kids as Medicaid does, Alker said.

“A child with serious health conditions is going to be much better served by the Medicaid benefits package,” she said.

DeSantis defends KidCare

During an April 1 press conference on toll relief, a reporter asked Gov. Ron DeSantis about the thousands of kids set to lose Medicaid coverage, and he defended KidCare.


“Well, but our KidCare has been very effective,” DeSantis said. “I mean, I think if you look at what the Legislature has done over the years, you know, they’ve really focused on helping working families make sure that their kids have access to health coverage.”

In 2023, the Legislature voted unanimously to expand KidCare to higher-income families, which was predicted to help 42,000 uninsured kids.

The expansion was supposed to take effect Jan. 1 but was delayed by paperwork snafus. It has now been postponed indefinitely while the state sues the federal government over a new rule that would require states to keep children on KidCare for 12 months even if their families miss a premium payment.

A hearing on that suit is scheduled for April 18 in federal court in Tampa.

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