Tips to Find Free Kids Health Insurance in Florida

Kids Health Insurance
If you are looking for free Florida health insurance for your children, you will be please to learn 3 ways to find free kids health insurance in Florida. Many states offer complimentary healthcare for children and the Sunshine State is no exception. It usually requires a little work to track down the information on these
plans so a listing of 3 ways to find free kids health insurance in Florida is very valuable. Put this comprehensive list of 3 ways to find free kids health insurance in Florida to work now for you and your family.

Tip #1

Children's Medical Services Network is for children having special care needs. It is designed for children from birth to age 18 and is administered by two different state government departments, depending on if the care needed is behavioral or physical.

Tip #2

Florida Kidcare Medicaid program is completely free to children whose families fall under the income guidelines. It is for children from birth to the age of 18.

Tip #3

The third way is actually almost free, but the good news is many more families are eligible for it. Premiums are only $15 to $20 per month for most families. The programs are divided by age and are called Medikids for those from ages 1 to 4 and Florida Healthy Kids for those ages 5 to 18.

Compare And Save To Find Cheap

Kids Health Insurance In Florida

Even if you know the 3 ways to find free kids health insurance in Florida, you may still want to check the rates being offered by various companies to make sure you are getting the most comprehensive coverage for your child.

If you find that you are not eligible for any of the above, you definitely want to get quotes on Florida individual health insurance. It is surprisingly affordable, especially for kids. You can get quotes to compare in no time by using a free online quote tool from an independent comparison website.

Get started comparing kids health insurance options today!

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two-tiered healthcare system hurts kids

 two-tiered healthcare system hurts kids
At a legislative level, the political crusade to reduce government “to the size where they can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub” is brilliantly self-sustaining. Both Republicans and conservative Democrats hold up the evils of “Big Government” (read: the non-military/security parts of government) as the rationale to reduce resources for popular programs and when those underfunded programs subsequently underperform, they cite the failure as reason to further demonize government, thus beginning the whole cycle anew.

This now-standard and now-bipartisan Neoliberal Formula is sophistry masquerading as tautology — and it has profound real world effects. The latest example of that truth comes from a new University of Pennsylvania report that exemplifies how the formula has helped embed an insipid “Separate and Unequal” doctrine within America’s healthcare system.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Penn study had researchers pose as parents calling physician specialists in Cook County, Ill. The only variable in the calls was insurance status — some callers said they had public insurance, others said they had private insurance. Here’s what they found:

Sixty-six percent of publicly-insured children were unable to get a doctor’s appointment for medical conditions requiring outpatient specialty care including diabetes and seizures, while children with identical symptoms and private insurance were turned away only 11 percent of the time… The study also found that [publicly]-insured children who received an appointment faced longer wait times to be seen.

These numbers are particularly striking, said the Penn researchers, “given the association between socioeconomic disadvantage and poor health status” — an association which means kids covered by public insurance have a disproportionately greater need for specialty care than their privately insured counterparts.

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The connection between the Neoliberal Formula and kids being discriminated against on the basis of insurance type is rooted in reimbursement rates paid to physicians.

As both parties have used anti-government arguments to slash taxes, public revenues have predictably dried up. With states under statutory obligation to balance their perpetually strapped budgets, Medicaid reimbursement rates have been regularly put on the chopping block in legislatures, creating ever-widening disparities between what physicians are paid by private insurance and what they are paid by public insurance. (For instance, in Illinois, where the study was conducted, researchers found “an office consultation visit for a problem of moderate severity is reimbursed at $99.86 by Medicaid-CHIP, whereas the average reimbursement for the same code by a commercial preferred-provider organization is approximately $160.”) Considering the ugly economics, it’s no surprise physicians are less eager to accept public insurance patients.

Hence, the Separate and Unequal disparities — disparities that will likely be cited by Republicans in Washington as proof that public insurance programs are inherently bad and therefore need to be even further defunded. Indeed, the infamous Ryan Budget proposes big cuts to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program that would likely result in further reductions in reimbursement rates.

And so the cycle, the disparities and the Neoliberal Formula continue in perpetuity. As I said, it’s a brilliantly self-sustaining ideology, proving that in the era of paradox politics, self-sustaining and self-destructive often go hand in hand.

Reasons Health Insurance Companies Should Roll Back Rates

health insurane companies
Insurers, awash in billions of dollars in record profits and excess capital, should give consumers their money back

The health insurance industry continues reporting record-setting profits while socking consumers with unjustified and excessive rate hikes. Today, Health Care for America Now (HCAN) called on the Wall Street-run health care profit machines to accelerate the consumer rebates required by the Affordable Care Act and immediately give back billions in premium overcharges to families and businesses.

Year after year insurance companies have imposed double-digit premium hikes on America's families and businesses to pay for their excessive profits and financial shell games.
The insurance companies say that their premiums reflect costs, but that's simply not true. Rates have gone up by an astounding 131% since 1999. That's twice the rate of medical inflation. It's also three times greater than wage growth, and it's busting family budgets and employer balance sheets.

Fortunately the Affordable Care Act is changing things. Under a consumer protection provision in the new law, the Health and Human Services Department estimates that insurers will owe up to 9 million customers as much as $1.4 billion in 2011 rebates payable next year. The new rule - called the medical-loss ratio - sets a minimum percentage of premiums (80% for individual and small group plans and 85% for large group plans) that insurers spend on actual medical care instead of wasteful overhead, excessive profits and bloated CEO salaries. Companies that fall short of the minimums must rebate the money to consumers.

Some insurers in California, Connecticut and North Carolina have already rolled backed rates, declared premium holidays or issued direct refunds. The rest of the industry should do the same nationwide.

Here are five reasons why insurance companies can and should roll back rates now:

1. Insurance company profits have gone too far.

Through the economic recession and its aftermath from 2008 to 2010, the combined profits for UnitedHealth Group Inc., WellPoint Inc., Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp. and Humana Inc. increased 51 percent.

In the first quarter of 2011, the combined profits of the five companies, which cover one-third of the U.S. population, surged 14% to $3.6 billion. If the trend holds, they'll rake in a record $14.4 billion in profits in 2011.

2. Premiums are going up while medical spending is going down.

Premiums have risen 131% since 1999 for families with employment-based insurance. America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the insurance industry's mouthpiece, likes to blame customers for rising premiums. People who buy health insurance have the annoying habit of using it when they get sick. But premiums have increased at twice the rate of medical inflation.

And, as a percentage, insurers are spending less of our premium dollars on actual medical care, and more on administrative costs like lavish CEO pay, marketing, lobbying, and the care-denial bureaucracy. The ratio of medical to administrative costs is known as the medical-loss ratio. In the first quarter of 2011, Cigna led the industry in finding ways to avoid covering actual health care - the share of premiums Cigna spent in the first quarter on medical care dropped to 77.3%, an extraordinary 5.6 percentage-point decline from 82.9% a year earlier. Aetna trimmed its health care costs from 81.1% of premium revenue to 77%. And Humana reduced its patient-care spending rate by 3.5 percentage points.

3. CEOs Spend Billions on Dividends and Stock Buybacks to Boost Share Prices and Enrich Themselves.

Record profits and reduced health care spending don't tell the whole story. Insurance companies use other Wall Street tools to quietly direct customer cash into their own pockets. For instance, insurers bought back $1.8 billion in their own stock in the first quarter - a practice that reduces the number of shares available in the market and boosts stock prices.

Since 2003, the five largest for-profit companies have allocated $66.9 billion in customer cash to buying back their own stock to reward insiders and Wall Street investors. So far this year, share prices for the five health insurers have risen 38% to 52%, compared to less than 3% for the broad market index. This benefits CEOs who hold large stakes in their own companies and who get bonuses, stock awards and stock options for guiding share prices upward. Buybacks do nothing to improve public health, make insurers more efficient or reduce premiums.

The five big for-profit health insurers have been so profitable that they're shoveling it back to investors. WellPoint announced that it plans to pay $400 million in dividends this year, while UnitedHealth plans a dividend of $449 million and Aetna expects to pay $230 million.

4. Insurance companies hoard cash in the name of "solvency."

In addition to excessive profits and stock buybacks, insurers have also been building massive capital reserves. On December 31, the nation's for-profit and nonprofit health insurance companies were holding $97.3 billion in risk-based capital to cover unexpected medical claims - six times more than state regulators require, according to Citigroup Global Markets.

5. While insurance companies are awash in cash, families and businesses are barely getting by.

It's unconscionable that insurance companies continue to impose double-digit premium hikes on America's families and businesses to pay for their excess profits and financial shell games at a time when consumers and employers are struggling in this tough economy.

At the end of this year, the new health law requires insurers to square up and pay us back for their excesses. But insurers shouldn't wait to give back our money. They should start paying consumers their rebates right now.