CHIP: Everything you need to know about the program

chip

CHIP, also known as Children’s Health Insurance Program is one of the top Children’s health programs which is available for kids who belong to family whose Annual income is high to qualify for a Medicaid but low enough to fall under the federal poverty line income measures.

CHIP was introduced in the year of 1997 during the Presidency of Bill Clinton and is currently the life savior for 8.9 million kids, according to a 2017 statistical report, widespread across different states, who cannot afford a private insurance. This program is funded jointly by the federal government and the individual states in the US.

Even though the program is managed by the federal government and States together, it is usually the States that manage the program by themselves based on the rules regulated by the federal government. The States tend to design their program based on one of the three ways regulated by the federal government namely:

#1 Separated CHIP

In this category, the state receives federal funding to provide basic federal regulated health coverage to the eligible kids. The major states that offers separated CHIP are Washington state, Connecticut, and 11 others.

#2 Medicaid expansion CHIP

This option offered by the state is mainly to serve as a Medicaid expansion to existing Medicaid coverage provided by the federal government. This is offered by 8 states in the US, 5 territories and DC which includes Alaska state, Ohio state etc.

#3 Combination CHIP

This specific part of the Children’s health program is offered to the eligible kids a combination of the Medicaid expansion and a Separated CHIP program. There are 29 US states including California state and New York state, in addition to 27 other states.

Benefits of the CHIP program

This Children’s health program is for all the kids of the US and comprehensively covers all ailments and is affordable for the family as well. Some of the top items that it covers are

Comprehensive physical examination (Preventive care), Medical health care, Dental care, Vision benefits, Prescription medications, Specialist consultation, Immunization, Mental health etc.

Cost

On an average, the enrollment of an entire family to the Children’s health program costs between 0 and 50$ and the co pay ranges between 3$ to 25$.

Depending on the size of the family (family of 1 to 10) and the income of the family the copay is 0, 35$ and 50$. The price gets higher as the family size and Annual income goes up. The Co-pays are 5$, 20$ and 25$ as the size of the family and income goes rises.

Do I qualify for the program?

For a child to be eligible for the CHIP Children’s health program the following conditions are to be met.

  • The child should be a US citizen or a legal immigrant.
  • 18 years or younger in age.
  • Pregnant women who need perinatal services for their unborn child and meet the income range specified by the federal government.
  • Resident of the State offering the CHIP program.