Temporary Cash Assistance
The Florida Department of Children and Families provides social services for Floridians in need of help and determines eligibility for Medicaid, Healthy Kids and other social and economic assistance programs. ACCESS Florida is the public assistance system that provides Food Stamps, Medicaid, and temporary cash assistance to families in need. Individuals who wish to apply for assistance can call 1-866-76ACCES (1-866-762-2237), apply online at www.myflorida.com/accessflorida, or visit one of the program’s 3,300 community partner sites.
Florida KidCare is Florida’s children’s health insurance program for uninsured children under age 19. It is made up of four parts: MediKids, Healthy Kids, the Children’s Medical Services (CMS) Network for children with special health care needs and Medicaid for children. Visit the Florida KidCare program website at http://www.floridakidcare.org/. For additional information or if you have questions about your application, you can call the Florida KidCare program toll-free at 1-888-540-5437.
Information about the Florida Discount Drug Card is available online at www.FloridaDiscountDrugCard.com or by calling 1-866-341-8894.
Another option is the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps qualifying individuals with low or no cost prescription aid. You can contact them on the internet at www.pparx.org, or toll-free at 1-888-477-2669.
Large Medical Bills
If you have large medical bills you are unable to pay off quickly, ask the hospital, doctor, or other type of health care provider if you can set up a payment plan. Even if you have already been told that the monthly amount you can pay is not enough, you may want to call for an appointment to sit down and again discuss the situation. You might also want to ask if they have a program available to help uninsured individuals or if they know of such a program in your local community.
In addition, you might want to contact the Consumer Credit Counseling Service. This is a nonprofit, United Way supported organization that helps people deal with debt. They don’t help pay off debt, but they provide financial counseling and educational services for handling debt. For more information call their toll-free number (800) 984-0977, or to view their website click www.cccsfl.org. Ask them about the types of services they offer and if there are fees.
You can also try calling the phone number 211. This is a community referral service that lists various programs in a community that serve people in need. Ask them if there are groups or organizations in your community that help with large medical bills. The 211 phone number is slowly being introduced throughout Florida. Some communities already have it operating while some are still waiting to put it into operation. You can also view the website for the Florida Alliance for Information and Referral Services at www.flairs.org.
The Florida Department of Children and Families, Office on Homelessness by calling (850) 922-4691. Helpful information and resources are available on that Office’s Web site at http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/homelessness/
Other Social Services
Information about other services can be obtained on the Department of Children and Families web site at http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/access/services.shtml.