Children Health Insurance Program And How It Works?

Children Health Insurance Program And How It Work

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program is now known as the Children Health Insurance Program. The US Department Of Health and Human Services is responsible for administering it. The idea was to insure children in families with modest income. Still, the income was too high to qualify for Medicaid. It was only after the failure of Bill Clinton’s health proposal that CHIP came into the picture. With sponsorship from senators, CHIP got support from Hilary Clinton. Some people were in opposition to it. Still, SCHIP became part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

Every state in the United States can design CHIP according to their policy with federal guidelines. So there is a variation in benefits, eligibility, and administration across various states. In the federal fiscal year 2010, CHIP covered 7.6 million children. Still, there are millions of uninsured children. The reason is that the families don’t qualify for CHIP. Also, the families drop out of the insurance plan after the annual increase in premiums.


CHIP: How Does It Work?

The CHIP or Children Health Insurance program provides medical coverage. The coverage is only for those who are under 19 years of age. It is a United States federal health program. Every state administers or names this program differently. In New York, they use the term Child Health Plus for it. Similarly, in Arkansas the title changes to ARKids. The federal government provides matching funds to their state. Medicaid administration is responsible for managing the Children Health Insurance Program.

Also read: 6 Ways to Choose the Best Child Health Insurance Plan!

If you live in a family of four that earns up to $45000 a year then CHIP is for you. The limits may vary from state to state. There are multiple instances where families don’t gain benefits of CHIP from employers. They are not aware that something like Child Health Insurance Program exists. That’s why in 2009, congress allocated funds for raising awareness about this program. Also, helping more families to enroll in these insurance programs.

Some children do qualify for Medicaid rather than CHIP. It depends on their income and other factors. Children’s Health Insurance Program covers multiple medical expenses free of cost. However, there are a few services that require co-payment. Some states need monthly premiums that won’t exceed 5 percent of your annual income.


CHIP typically covers the following things:


Hospital Care


Doctor visits

Vision care

Dental care

Laboratory services


Emergency services


Few states in the United States also provide coverage to parents and pregnant women. CHIP coverage is not time-bound. It can begin at any time and that too throughout the year. So you can immediately avail of the benefits of CHIP.

Congress thought that passing the Affordable Care Act will replace CHIP. They thought that people won’t need any other form of insurance. Instead, the United States now has the Affordable Care Act, CHIP, and Medicaid. This has led to confusion amongst low-income families. People don’t really know which option is best for them.


How Do You Qualify For Children Health Insurance Program Coverage?

In 2017’s fiscal year, 9.46 million people got coverage from CHIP. Medicaid and CHIP payment commission gave out these stats. If you want to find out whether your child is eligible for CHIP or not then check with your state. Every state’s individual policy and the requirement is different. In case you are pregnant than before applying for CHIP check the program.

In order to qualify for this insurance plan, your child is a citizen of the United States. Also, a permanent resident who is under the age of 19. Also, your child must be dependent. If a child’s relative or legal guardian spends more than half of the year with him then that’s enough. In order to fully qualify for the insurance plan, the annual household income matters. It should fall into the threshold set for the plan. Once the child is eligible for CHIP, premiums and other costs depend on your income. So if all these circumstances are true, you might end up insuring your child.


What Does Children Health Insurance Program Cost?

Some families need to pay premiums for Child Health Insurance Plan. In the United States, 30 states require parents to pay premiums for their children in CHIP. It depends on their annual income on how much they need to pay. Also, families with children who need special care need to spend more. However, the Children’s Hospital Association claims that most families don’t reach that stage.

In 26 states, parents may have to pay some amount. These are not premiums but cost-sharing for treatment in hospital. There are a few services that require parents to pay the deductible. For example, non-preventive doctor visits or prescription drugs.


Final Words

Child health insurance benefits are many. Without insurance coverage, you will have to face the burden of paying high hospital bills. These days hospitals charge a lot of amounts from people. Families who cannot afford high-end healthcare will love this coverage. Once you enroll your child for the Child Health Insurance program, the benefits last for 12 months. If your child exceeds the set age limit or basic eligibility then the situation may change. Families need to renew CHIP every year in order to continue receiving coverage. It won’t be a problem as companies send notices 90 days prior to the end of the program. Families just need to fill out important information and they can renew the Child Health Insurance Program.

Child health insurance plans prepare you for the worst scenarios. It is like a friend sharing your financial burden. You cannot compromise on your child’s health. So you have to pay a visit to doctors and get the treatments on time. Time doesn’t wait for anyone. If you go on and arrange funds when your child is already ill then it becomes the worst-case scenario. So go ahead and apply for a child health insurance plan. You can search online for websites that your government approves for applying to CHIP.

We hope this article covers all the details on the Child Health Insurance Plan. Do give your suggestions and feedback on the topic.