As Seen on YouTube

We know you’ve seen us on Facebook and on Twitter. And of course you’ve seen us on this blog (you’re here reading it, right?). Now you can also see us on the (very) small screen with the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation YouTube channel.

We established the channel this month and we are excited about what’s to come. We plan to feature videos from various events, showcase a few family testimonies about Florida KidCare, answer frequently asked questions and much more!

Currently running is our back to school press conference that we held earlier this month. So visit us at FloridaHealthyKids and don’t forget to subscribe, like, rate and comment.

Back to School Events Abound

Summer arrived with temperatures reaching the 100s, but sadly it’s time for kids to say goodbye to summer fun and get ready for the new school year, which is just around the corner.

As kids head back to the classroom, our community partners will be working overtime to host or participate in hundreds of back to school events around the state in August. Many of these events will include free immunizations, health screenings and school supplies giveaways.

Here are just a few big back to school events happening this month: 

  • August 13—Back to School Health & Safety Fair in Largo
  • August 13—11th Annual School Supply Giveaway in Orlando
  • August 14—Back to School Safari in Miami-Dade
  • August 17—YMCA Healthy Kids Day–Clearwater
  • August 20—Neighborhood Family Center Back to School Event—Safety Harbor
  • August 20—Back to School Bash–Pace
  • August 27—Manatee County 17th Annual Children’s Summit—Palmetto 

Click HERE to find more events in your area. 

We encourage you to stop by, enjoy the festivities, and most importantly apply for health coverage if your child is uninsured. If you know of a child who needs health insurance, tell them about the Florida KidCare program. The application process takes less than 20 minutes and could be the push they need for a successful school year.

It’s Tax Free Weekend!

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday is Florida’s Tax-Free Weekend. There will be no sales tax on clothing, footwear and certain accessories that are $75 or less; or on school supplies for less than $15.

Here’s the Florida Department of Revenue’s complete LIST of tax free items for Aug. 12-14.

What stores do you plan to raid shop at this weekend?

Back to School Season Has Officially Begun

Today, we officially kicked off our annual back to school campaign with a press conference at the Mary Brogan Museum in Tallahassee. With kids seated around the podium, Florida Healthy Kids Board Chair Wendy Link, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and representatives from other state agencies expressed their commitment to making sure Florida children receive quality health services.

Every year, we partner with several state agencies and hundreds community groups to help families apply for healthcare benefits while preparing for the new school year. We believe this is the perfect time to remind parents to apply and make sure health coverage is on their child’s back to school checklist.

The agencies that help us with our outreach campaign include: The Florida Department of Health, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Education and the Agency for Workforce Innovation. All promote Florida KidCare year-round; yet participating in community events such as school supply giveaways and immunization clinics provides greater access to thousands of families statewide.

We also had two families attend this year to share their experience with the program. Melissa Wilson and Tracie Pitre told reporters that no matter what, they refused to let their kids lose their health insurance benefits through the Florida KidCare program.

Approximately 1.9 million children receive low-cost health insurance through Florida KidCare for children under the age of 19. Children receive coverage under any one the program’s four components – MediKids, Children’s Medical Services Network, Healthy Kids and Children’s Medicaid. Many families pay $20 or less per month, but most pay nothing at all. Full-pay options also are available for families with higher income levels.

As the administrators of Florida KidCare, we have been working hard to provide new updates and resources to make applying for and maintaining coverage easier for families. Updates include:

  • An enhanced ‘My Accounts’ section of www.healthykids.org. Parents can check the status of their application, see their monthly premium payment status and review their child’s health plan information.
  •  More payment options such as cash payments at any Fidelity Express location in Florida; and later this month families can chose to pay their monthly premium via text message through their cell phones.

“In the last twelve months alone, over 95,000 previously uninsured children enrolled in Florida KidCare, gaining access to preventive health care such as regular doctor visits, immunizations, mental health counseling and dental check-ups,” said Healthy Kids Board Chair Link. “The Legislature approved funding to cover an additional 20,000 uninsured children in the program this fiscal year. Through our annual back to school campaign and new administrative changes, we’re going to get kids enrolled.”

We are excited about the upcoming school year, and with the support of our partners, we are going to get families and children covered. Don’t forget to check out our community calendar for back to school events in your area.