November 3, 2019

Number of uninsured children in Florida rises

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Kim Doleatto of the Herald-Tribune writes:

"It’s back to training wheels when it comes to getting children health care coverage.

In just two years, the rate of uninsured Florida children jumped by 18% and earned the state an overall ranking of 45 in the latest Children’s Health Care Report Card.

The second-highest number of children without health insurance now live in Florida.

That’s according to the latest report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families that looked at national and state data from 2016 to 2018.


When families choose not to enroll, their children miss out on more than basic health care.

Research shows that kids covered by Medicaid and CHIP have long-term health and economic gains as adults, such as higher educational attainment and greater earnings.

'If the numbers are ignored, Florida is going to pay for it through emergency room visits, and in the future when there are fewer healthy workers who missed out on key interventions as children,' said Anne Swerlick, a health policy analyst and attorney with the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added].

'There needs to be a lot more public information that tells parents that getting coverage for their children won’t put them at risk,' she added.

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