The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) gives free or low-cost medical insurance to children. The program gives insurance to pregnant women, too. The first step to getting CHIP benefits is filling out an application. The way you can apply depends on where you live. Some states let you apply online. Others might ask you to apply in person at an office.
Before you apply, look at the requirements in your state. Different states have special requirements you might have to meet. There are national requirements, too. You have to make less than a certain amount of money and live in the state where you apply. You have to show documents to prove how much you make and where you live, too. For more information on the application process, read the sections below.
How can I apply for CHIP?
The way you can apply for CHIP depends on your state. Some states like Arkansas, Idaho and Kansas let you apply for CHIP online through their websites. Their websites have online applications that you can type your information into. You can sign the applications online, too. You might have to create an account before applying online in these states. This account will let you keep track of your application status later.
Other states like Maine, Massachusetts and North Dakota don’t let you apply online. You can get a hard copy of the application, fill it out and send it in by:
- Going to a local county office.
- Mailing it to the address on the form.
- Faxing it to a local county office.
To learn more about how to apply for CHIP, download our free guide.
How do I fill out the CHIP application?
When you get a CHIP application, you have to fill it out with the right information. You will be asked for information about your family, how much you make and where you work. To get ready to fill out the application, it’s good to have these documents with you:
- An ID like a passport or your driver’s license for personal information
- Paystubs or your W-2 for information about how much you make
- Utility bills or rental agreements for information about where you live
You will need documents from your family, too. To apply for CHIP, you have to give information about the people who live with you. You will be asked for information about your husband/wife, your kids under 19 and any other family members who depend on you at home.
Fill out all the main parts of the application. Leaving sections blank might make the CHIP caseworker reject your application.
Some states use one application for a lot of different programs. So you might see food stamps, cash assistance and CHIP all on the form you are filling out. This means you can apply for these programs at the same time with this application. But you will need to fill out the sections of the application that talk about those programs.
Note: Need help filling out your CHIP insurance application? If you have a disability, you can call your local county office for help. You can ask them questions about the application, too.
What happens after I apply for CHIP?
After you apply for CHIP, you will have to wait to find out if your child can get benefits. A CHIP caseworker will look at your application and decide if you qualify. If they need more information to make the decision, they will ask you for it. If they ask you for more information, you have a few weeks to give it to them. Then the CHIP caseworker will let you know if you can get benefits.
If you do not qualify for CHIP, you will get a letter that explains why. You can appeal the decision if you disagree with the reason.
If you get into the CHIP program, you will find out if your coverage is free. If it’s not free, you will find out about the costs. You will learn when coverage starts, too. Your plan might start that day. It might start on the first day of the next month. Next, you will get to pick your primary care physician. If you don’t pick one, you will have one given to you.
For more information about the CHIP application process, download our free guide today.