What is a Children’s Health Insurance Program?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) formally known as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). To see if your children qualify for this program, you can visit the CHIP website for more information.
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What does the CHIP cover?
CHIP and the Children’s Medicaid programs both work together to offer benefits for those children in need of insurance.
Some of the benefits include:
- Eye exams and glasses
- Regular doctor’s visits and checkups
- Prescription drugs
- Hospital care and services
They also offer:
- Dentist cleanings and fillings
- Access to specialist in both the mental and medical health fields
- Lab tests
- Treatment with underlying health conditions
- Treatment for special health needs
- Medical supplies
There are also services that are available for unborn children. CHIP has a program called, CHIP Perinatal. This offers insurance to those pregnant moms who cannot receive Medicaid. It will cover labor and delivery. It also will make sure your baby gets all the medical service it needs the first few months after he or she is born.
Who is eligible to apply for Children’s Health Insurance Program?
Each CHIP is different in each state. However, the qualifications are straightforward. To find if you are income eligible you can go to your state’s Children’s Medicaid website and view their income limit chart. The state of Texas, for example, has their income limit chart listed on their webpage explaining eligibility.
Those who can apply are any child age 19 or younger who lives on their own. In addition, any adult who lives with a child or children more than half time can apply on behalf of them. This includes:
- Adult brothers or sisters
- Legal guardians
For those looking to apply to CHIP Perinatal, any pregnant person of any age can apply for services.
Those children who qualify must be 18 or younger. However, some states will allow children who are 20 and younger to apply for Medicaid. The child or children must be a resident of the state in which they are applying. The child or children must be a legal U.S. citizen.
What is the cost for Children’s Health Insurance Program?
For those children who qualify for Children’s Medicaid, there is absolutely no cost to the guardian for services. For those children who qualify for CHIP, co-pays, and enrollment fees will be based on income. Enrollment fees are usually $50 or less per year per family. Co-payments are reasonable and for doctor visits and prescriptions can range anywhere between $5-$25.
How can I apply for Children’s Health Insurance Program?
There are several ways to apply for your state’s CHIP program. If you go to your state’s website, there will be information on who to call and where to either pick up an application, or there will be an application online to fill out.
In order to make sure your application is processed correctly, all required information should be filled out. If there’s a question that does not apply to your family, make sure to fill it in with N/A. It’s also important to sign your application before submitting it.
Once you’ve submitted all required information and the application packet it can take up to 45 days to process the application, but this depends on the state you are residing in. Make sure to call and check on your application.
It’s important to make sure all information is accurate and up to date when submitting your application. For those who have questions they can either call the phone number provided by your individual state. You can also seek out help from one of the local Medicaid agencies.
It’s important to make sure all children have health insurance coverage. Not only do they need immunizations, but also children need checkups at least once a year and some even every three months.
If you don’t think your child qualifies for your state’s Medicaid or CHIP program, you can still find affordable health insurance. To see health insurance rates online enter your ZIP now!