Children’s Health Insurance Program: who is eligible for CHIP?

The The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) helps low income families by providing healthcare to children and dependents under the age of nineteen.There are around 9.6 million children and teenagers who receive their healthcare through CHIP. Still, however, the rate of children in the country without healthcare stands at around 5.6 percnet, representing around 4.3 million kids.

This can be a critical lifeline for families who have an income too high to qualify for Medicaid but are not offered quality insurance for their children through their employer. 

What services does CHIP cover?

  • Routine check-ups
  • Immunizations
  • Doctor visits
  • Prescriptions
  • Dental and vision care
  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital care
  • Laboratory and X-ray services
  • Emergency services

Parents interested in seeing if they are eligible for CHIP should know that “each state program has its own rules about who qualifies.” However, an application can be sent at any time of the year and if you “qualify, you won’t have to buy an insurance plan to cover” your children.

 Checking Eligibility 

According to healthcare.gov there are two ways families can see if they are eligible to receive health insurance through CHIP. The firs is by calling 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).

The second is to submit an application through the Health Insurance Marketplace®. If the federal government determines that you qualify for either CHIP or Medicaid, your application and information will be sent to the state agency managing these programs. At that point, the agency will reach out to contact you about your enrollment options.

For state specific CHIP information, you can use this online tool created by the federal government.

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