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Healthy Kids Could Waive Premiums In Hard-hit Areas

Oct 18, 2018
Originally published on October 18, 2018 7:51 am

The Florida Healthy Kids Corp. Board of Directors is expected Thursday to consider waiving children’s health-insurance premiums for three months in a dozen counties slammed last week by Hurricane Michael.

Gov. Rick Scott, state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Justin Senior are backing the move, which could waive premiums for about 5,600 children in three insurance programs, according to an estimate posted on the Florida Healthy Kids website. 

Most of the children are in subsidized programs in which they qualify for low-cost health insurance because of their family income levels, while about 325 children are in families that pay the full premiums.

The proposed premium waiver would be for November, December and January in Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla and Taylor counties, according to a letter that Senior sent Tuesday to Florida Healthy Kids Corp. CEO Rebecca Matthews.

The overall cost of waiving the premiums would be an estimated $3.58 million, the information posted on the Florida Healthy Kids website said.

Senior wrote in his letter that the Agency for Health Care Administration would “work diligently to ensure that Healthy Kids is reimbursed for premiums and resulting health plan capitation payments for these counties in these months.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, Patronis said waiving the premiums “could save lives and help these families rebuild after this catastrophic storm.”