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KidCare Could Cover More

April 21st, 2008 by flanews

Major changes to the states KidCare program will be discussed tonight in Tallahassee. Lawmakers want to expand coverage to every kid and as Whitney Ray tells us they also want KidCare to pay for autism treatment.

Twelve years ago Laurie Staples gave birth to a seemingly healthy baby girl.

She seemed normal, she walked, she talked, she played, said Staples.

But by the age of two it became obvious something was wrong.

She screamed bloody murder and I took her to doctors told me it was autism, said Staples.

After a few years of treatment, Lauries daughter Caitlyn began to improve, but her progress was halted. Lauries insurance company stopped paying for therapy. Thousands of Floridians have similar stories. Now lawmakers are joining the battle.

If we just addressed the private insurance market through a mandate we would only be addressing 43 percent of this population, said Representative Bill Galvano.

Galvano serves on a select committee trying to expanding KidCare. The committee will look at adding autism treatment to the services paid for by the program and offering the insurance to everyone in the state.

Some people on the insurance pay 20 bucks or less for coverage, that could soon change. If the program is expanded statewide, premiums could be raised, slightly. Galvano said expanding KidCare would send a message to insurance companies.

If theyre not able to come up with a solution, show us new product line, show us how youre going to regulate your own industry, then a mandate will be coming, said Galvano.

Lawmakers hope leading by example will persuade insurers to follow, so they dont have to force the industrys hand.

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