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KidCare accessibility ills getting a hard look

Fewer barriers, fewer uninsured, advocates say.

Published February 23, 2007


TALLAHASSEE - The number of uninsured children in Florida could be dramatically reduced if lawmakers can make it easier for parents to get their kids into the state's subsidized health insurance program, backers of the idea said Thursday.

About 700,000 children in Florida can't get health care because they're uninsured. Advocates who have worked to get more children into the KidCare program say there's growing interest in making it easier to enroll.

Advocates say enrollment has dropped sharply - by nearly 120,000 in the last three years - not because money's been short but because of administrative barriers to getting in.

Parents say it can be hard to enroll, difficult to navigate, and for some, hard to figure out if they're eligible.

Some Republicans have admitted it was a mistake a few years ago when the GOP-controlled Legislature intentionally made it harder to enroll by requiring more documentation. At the time, supporters said the program was endangered by cost growth fueled by too many ineligible families getting coverage.

[Last modified February 23, 2007, 00:50:06]

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