CHIP covers children’s health care costs, which means that their parents or guardians are not required to purchase a plan for them. CHIP works with Medicaid to cover low-income people, elderly, disabled, underage, and other vulnerable groups who may not be able to afford a health care plan. Some states have expanded Medicaid coverage, while others have not. If you have an income of below 133% of the national poverty line, you qualify for Medicaid. If your income level is too high to qualify for Medicaid, your children are covered under CHIP until age 19. Right now CHIP covers around eight million children. In some states, CHIP covers parents and pregnant women as well.
Applying for CHIP
You can apply for CHIP by calling 1-800-318-2596 or the 1-855-889-4325, a number that services those who are hearing-impaired. You can also complete an application using the Health Insurance Marketplace website, which then sends the applicant’s information to the state.
CHIP covers a variety of essential health benefits for children, including routine checkups, immunization, doctors’ visits, dental care, vision care, prescriptions, inpatient and outpatient care, emergency services, and laboratory services and tests. Some states cover even more than what is listed here, but the majority are mandated to cover these minimum requirements.
Cost of CHIP
CHIP is extremely affordable and routine wellness checkups and doctor visits are free with the program. However, there may be monthly copayments for other services as well as a premium depending on the state in which you live. Regardless of the state, you will never have to pay more than 5% of your family’s yearly income for healthcare for your children. Parents who are uninsured, but whose children have CHIP can obtain coverage through the marketplace.