University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #FCS2188b

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Health Care Assistance1

Maisie Ross, Larry Forthun, Millie Ferrer-Chancy, and Angela Falcone2

Goal: To provide grandparents with information about health care assistance to grandfamilies who are residents of Florida.

Figure 1. 
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

You have many options for health care coverage. These options include private insurance, Medicaid, Florida KidCare, and the Child Health Check-Up program. Private insurance is the most expensive option.


Medicaid provides health care coverage to families or individuals with low incomes. You may apply for Medicaid insurance for the whole family or just for your grandchildren. Medicaid covers medical, mental health, and dental services. If your grandchildren qualify for Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), the Relative Caregiver Program, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), they automatically qualify for Medicaid. However, you will still need to file an application for Medicaid coverage separately.

To learn more, or to apply for assistance, call Access Florida at 1-866-762-2237 or visit

Florida KidCare

Florida KidCare has four different health programs for children.

1. KidCare Medicaid: This is a program for children from birth through age 18. To qualify, you must complete an application. Eligibility for this program is based on income. For more information, download the Family-Related Medicaid Program fact sheet at

2. MediKids: This is a program for children ages 1–4 who are not eligible for Medicaid. There is a $15–20 monthly premium per child. If you earn more than the maximum allowable income, you may purchase this coverage at the full price (approximately $157 per month). For more information, download the Medikids brochure at

3. Florida Healthy Kids: This program provides an all-around health insurance plan for school-age children (ages 5–18). Most families pay a $15–20 monthly premium per child. If you earn more than the maximum allowable income, you may purchase this coverage at the full price. This program does not enroll children throughout the year. You must enroll during an "open enrollment period." For more information, visit

4. Children's Medical Services Network (CMS Network): This is a health plan for children with special on-going health care needs, including diabetes, leukemia, and behavioral health problems. It is for children under age 19 and provides medical services, supplies, therapies, and equipment. There is usually a $15–20 monthly premium per child for this program. For more information, visit

If you want to know more about any of these Florida KidCare programs, call Florida KidCare at 1-888-540-5437 or visit

Child Health Check-Up Program

Grandchildren who qualify for Medicaid will also qualify for the Child Health Check-Up program. This program provides children with regular, comprehensive, health check-ups including comprehensive physical exams; nutritional and developmental assessments; vision, hearing and dental screenings; lab tests; immunizations; and health education guidance.

For more information on Child Health Check-Ups, call your local health insurance provider, Medicaid office, or Access Florida at 1-866-762-2237. You can also find information at



This document, adapted from the 2002 version of FCS2188, is FCS2188b, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date August 2009. Revised March 2017. Visit the EDIS website at


Maisie Ross, Extension agent III, UF/IFAS Extension Palm Beach County; Larry Forthun, associate professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; Millie Ferrer-Chancy, professor emeritus; and Angela Falcone, former FYCS graduate student; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.