If you live in Florida and do not have medical insurance, then you must obtain coverage immediately. There are several Florida medical assistance programs that are available to residents. However, each program serves a specific group of Florida residents, such as low-income families, veterans or children. Therefore, when you are seeking medical insurance coverage or other medical assistance for yourself or a family member, you must apply for the FL medical assistance program which suits your current circumstances. You or your family member may also qualify for more than one of the medical assistance programs in FL as those circumstances change. Once you identify the program or programs of interest you must follow instructions to apply and receive the medical assistance you need. Below is a list of top Florida medical assistance programs and the benefits they provide.
The Florida Medicaid Program
Medicaid is a national program which can provide you with medical assistance if your family has a low income. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration manages the Medicaid program in Florida. The Medicaid program provides general health care coverage which can assist with basic medical needs, such as checkups. Your child may also be eligible for Medicaid, but you may be required to apply for it on his or her behalf through specially designed programs for children.
Eligibility for Medicaid in Florida is primarily determined by income level and current insurance status. As long as you have no other medical coverage and your family income is low enough to meet the current requirement, then you can receive Medicaid assistance. If you are already receiving Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) in Florida, then you will automatically qualify for FL Medicaid coverage. Florida Medicaid may also assist you if you are a caretaker for a low-income individual who is a child or disabled.
The Florida Healthy Start Program
One Florida medical program which may benefit your child is the Florida Healthy Start Program, which is administered by the Florida Department of Health. The Healthy Start Program may assist you if you are pregnant and need medical coverage for yourself, or if you have a child who is under three years of age and you are seeking medical coverage for him or her. Under the Healthy Start Program, you or your child are eligible for services such as nutritional support, smoking addiction assistance, breast feeding information and psychological assistance, if needed.
The Florida KidCare Program
The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a national program, but it is known as KidCare in Florida. If you have a child who is 18 years of age or younger, then he or she may be eligible for KidCare services, depending on your household income level. KidCare is a program which consists of four subprograms: MediKids, Medicaid for Children, Florida Healthy Kids and Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan.
The MediKids program can provide services to children between the ages of one and four years. When they reach five years of age, they may become eligible for Healthy Kids, which provides medical coverage for children up to 18 years of age. Both subprograms offer comprehensive medical coverage which includes emergency care, regular checkups, dental care and other medical needs. Florida KidCare also assists in the administration of the FL Medicaid program, which oversees medical care to low-income children.
The KidCare program includes the Children's Medical Services Managed Care Plan (CMS), which can assist you if your child has special and ongoing medical needs. Disease management, preventative medical services and standard primary medical care are also provided through CMS. The program will continue to provide services to your child as long as your family meets eligibility requirements until he or she reaches 18 years of age. Pending legislation may make drastic changes to all of these programs, so it is best to continue to check official websites for updates.
The Florida Veterans’ Affairs Health Care System
The Florida VA health care system is part of a national program developed to provide health services to military veterans. If you are a veteran discharged after a specific date, which is subject to change, then you may contact or visit any VA center in Florida to sign up for medical services. There are several VA medical centers throughout Florida, as well as Vet Center counseling locations and outpatient clinics. Through the VA health care system you can receive both standard medical services and specialty care relating to injuries or illnesses you may have developed while serving in the military.