There are many ways to find affordable health insurance for children. It doesn’t have to be a difficult proposition either. Knowing what you’ll need for health insurance and where to look for the proper coverage is half the battle. Once you have all the information you need the process of signing up is fairly simple.
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Each state has its own children’s health insurance program. The NYC Department of Social Services has two types of health insurance for children, Medicaid and Child Health Plus. Both plans are comprehensive and cover a large range of both health and dental needs of the children of New York.
Medicaid Requirements for Children
What are the requirements for Medicaid for children? For those families that are of low income they most likely will qualify for the state run Medicaid health insurance program. The requirements for Medicaid vary by state and by how many members you have in your family. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, each state has their own system of determining which groups their Medicaid programs can cover and what the financial eligibility levels are.
There are some general requirements regarding health care for children that are the same nationwide.
Those infants born to pregnant women who are either participants in Medicaid or who are eligible for coverage will also be provided with coverage. Those children under age of six who have a family income that is at or below the 133% of the Federal poverty level are eligible as well.
Some states also have extended the eligibility of Medicaid to the age of 19 for those that qualify. Children who are recipients of adoption assistance and foster care are also eligible for Medicaid.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
What is the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)? The CHIP program provides coverage for over 31 million children and teens in the U.S. Half of those covered are children of low income families. There are specific guidelines for Medicaid, but many states have chosen to expand coverage well beyond those parameters.
According to the Medicaid website, children whose families have yearly incomes of $44,700 or less are eligible for either Medicaid or CHIP. Even those families with higher incomes can qualify for coverage from CHIP programs.
The coverage of CHIP is quite extensive. It generally covers health care services such as diagnosis and treatment, early and periodic screenings.
While CHIP is comprehensive, the plans can vary from state to state. Each state has the flexibility to design the benefit packages of their CHIP programs.
What about children going off to college? While CHIP and Medicaid can cover children up to the age of 19 in some states, children who are going off to college will also need health insurance. Many times colleges require you have health insurance before even stepping foot in the classroom. Some colleges will have their own health insurance plans to cover students. The cost of the yearly premiums will usually come straight out of the loans and grants you receive for college, but payment plans are available as well.
If you decide to use other health insurance you’ll of course need to provide this information to the school beforehand. While the college student health insurance tends to have good coverage, it’s not always the most affordable. Many families will buy family health insurance plans to make sure their children have the coverage they need. Some will even allow coverage up to the age of 25 for the dependent children of insured parents.
For those who don’t plan on using their health insurance often there’s another alternative. Health insurance discount cards can be useful for your college bound child. This is where you pay a low monthly fee in return for discount cards. When you do need to go to the doctor or hospital you’ll get discounted services.
However, these discount cards do not do much for those involved in a catastrophic health crisis. The discounts don’t end up saving you a lot when you have an enormous bill to pay. Therefore, anyone who is not willing to give up the peace of mind that having health insurance gives you will most likely not enjoy the risk that comes along with health insurance discount cards.
Finding the right health insurance policy for your children is much simpler when you enter your ZIP code in the FREE quote tool now!