PoliticsFlorida Child Uninsured Rate Stabilizes; Advocates Raise Future Concerns

Florida Child Uninsured Rate Stabilizes; Advocates Raise Future Concerns

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While the Sunshine State ranks among the top 10 states with the highest rates of uninsured children, it did see more kids with health coverage during the pandemic, thanks to federal protections set to expire next year. Florida’s uninsured child rate dropped from 7.6 % to 7.3 % in 2021, according to a new report from Georgetown University.

Erica Li, policy analyst at the Florida Policy Institute, said it is welcome news to see the number of kids without health insurance drop from 343,000 before the pandemic, to 332,000 in 2021, as it leads to longer-term benefits.

“We know that when children are covered for insurance, they have much better outcomes,” Li pointed out. “They’re more likely to succeed in school, graduate from high school, attend college, earn higher wages and things like that. So, that’s all very good data to see.”

The Florida Policy Institute, along with 40 other organizations, has asked the DeSantis administration for a statewide plan for how to keep those families and individuals insured after the federal protections expire next year. Florida is among 11 states that have yet to expand Medicaid, which insures many low-income residents.

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, said the federal protections — part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act — are expected to lapse when the public health emergency officially ends next spring. And she predicted the national child uninsured rate could double.

“Three out of every four children that may lose Medicaid coverage will still be eligible,” Alker pointed out. “Sometimes children lose coverage at Medicaid renewal, just because the letter gets lost in the mail. Families with limited English proficiency may have more trouble getting through the renewal process successfully.”

Florida’s rate of uninsured children is among the highest in the nation, coming in at 42nd out of 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also recommends states create a plan for when federal protections end, because it predicts states could take up to 12 months to return to pre-pandemic operations for uninsured child rate Medicaid renewals.

Estabilizada tasa de niños sin seguro en FL; se aproximan otras preocupaciones

uninsured child

Si bien el Sunshine State se encuentra entre los 10 estados con las tasas mas altas de ninos sin seguro medico, hubo mas ninos con cobertura de salud durante la pandemia, gracias a las protecciones federales que venceran el proximo ano. La tasa de ninos sin seguro de Florida se redujo del 7,6 al 7,3 % en 2021, segun un nuevo informe de la Universidad de Georgetown.

Erica Li, del Florida Policy Institute, dice que es una buena noticia ver que la cantidad de ninos sin seguro medico se reduce de 343,000 antes de la pandemia a 332,000 en 2021, ya que esto conduce a beneficios a mas largo plazo.

“Sabemos que cuando los ninos estan cubiertos por un seguro, les va mucho mejor en la vida. Es mas probable que tengan exito en la escuela, se graduen de la secundaria, asistan a la universidad, ganen salarios mas altos, entre otros. Todos esos son muy buenos resultados por ver,” menciono Li.

El Florida Policy Institute, junto con otras 40 organizaciones, solicito a la administracion de DeSantis un plan estatal sobre como mantener a esas familias e individuos asegurados despues de que expiren las protecciones federales el proximo ano. Florida se encuentra entre los 11 estados que aun tienen que expandir Medicaid, para asegura a muchos residentes de bajos ingresos.

La coautora del informe, Joan Alker, del Georgetown Center for Children and Families (Centro para Ninos y Familias de Georgetown), dice que se espera que las protecciones federales, parte de Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Ley Familias Primero en Respuesta al Coronavirus), caduquen cuando la emergencia de salud publica termine oficialmente la proxima primavera. Ella predice que la tasa nacional de ninos sin seguro podria duplicarse.

“Tres de cada cuatro ninos que pueden perder la cobertura de Medicaid seguiran siendo elegibles. A veces, los ninos pierden la cobertura en la renovacion de Medicaid, simplemente porque la carta se pierde en el correo. Las familias con dominio limitado del idioma ingles pueden tener mas problemas para pasar con exito el proceso de renovacion,” explico tambien Alker.

La tasa de ninos sin seguro en Florida se encuentra entre las mas altas de la nacion, ubicandose en el puesto 42 entre 50 estados y DC. Los Centros de Servicios de Medicare y Medicaid tambien recomiendan que los estados creen un plan para cuando terminen las protecciones federales. Predicen que los estados podrian tardar hasta 12 meses en volver a las operaciones previas a la pandemia para las renovaciones de Medicaid.

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