Fla. Maintains Five-year Wait on Health Care for Immigrant Children

Apr. 10, 2013 / By



New America Media, News Report, Anthony Advincula

Image: Florida resident Irina Flores-Montalban is on a five-year waitlist to receive subsidized medical care for her ailing son.

MIAMI — About seven months after they moved to Florida, Irina Flores-Montalban found out that her 11-year-old son, Jose, had a blood clot in his heart and needed an operation. Without health insurance, she was advised to enroll him in the state’s Medicaid program in order to get immediate treatment.

But her situation became more dire when the 38-year-old Sarasota mother was told that Jose — as well as his two siblings — was not qualified. Although they have a green card, the family did not meet the state’s five-year residency requirement.

“I didn’t know that every state is different,” Montalban, an Ecuadorian immigrant, said in Spanish. “In New York, where we used to live, they just asked me to fill out the form and soon I got the medical cards in the mail.”

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