Filling the Coverage Gap for Legal Immigrant Children Remains Appropriate | Print |
January 2013

In 2009, Congress gave states the option to allow legal immigrant children to qualify for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) without enduring the five-year waiting period that applies to most public assistance programs for immigrants.

During the 2012 regular session, state legislation (SB 1294) was proposed that would have exercised that option in Florida and allowed such children to qualify for coverage through Florida KidCare (which includes children's Medicaid and CHIP). SB 1294 passed unanimously out of its first committee but did not make it to final passage. This legislation (or a closely related proposal) is expected to be considered again during the 2013 session.

State money is available to fund health coverage for legal immigrant children. Investment in coverage of these otherwise uninsured children will draw down an additional $43.1 million in federal funds.

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