USF's Florida Covering Kids and Families wins $1 million grant
The federal government has awarded Florida Covering Kids and Families at the University of South Florida a $1 million grant to help uninsured kids find health care.
In all, $32 million was dispersed to 41 agencies in 22 states, funded by the Affordable Care Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009.
The money will allow the Florida program to link with community-based organizations and get insurance applications and information to kids who need it, focused in large school districts and rural areas where literacy can be a barrier.
"Florida’s a big state, so a million dollars doesn’t necessarily cover the entire state," said project director Jodi Ray. "But it allows us to do some very targeted kinds of things."
This is the third time Florida Covering Kids and Families has received the award. Ray was hopeful it would come through a third time, and got the call this week while on long-planned beach vacation.
“I never make assumptions," she said. "We worked very hard to put the proposal forward, but you don’t know who you’re competing against for the resources. We tried to maximize the best use of the resources so that at least we know what we want to do with the resources once we get them. I still held my breath waiting to find out.”
Ray said more than 500,000 kids in Florida are without health insurance, down from 800,000 just a few years ago.
“We have a fairly large target,” Ray said. “But we’re making significant progress.”