The Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP, is a healthcare insurance program funded by the federal government and distributed by individual states. The original purpose of the program was to provide all children with access to healthcare. Many American families are limited in the healthcare that they can provide for their children due to income but CHIP seeks to offer healthcare coverage regardless of income. While the program is known under different names throughout the country, each state is still able to provide children with access to affordable health insurance, vision and dental coverage.
In order to qualify for CHIP insurance, a household must make below a certain income level. In addition, the child must meet age requirements before he or she can receive benefits. When residents apply, they must make sure that they meet the specific income requirements in their state. Each state has different income requirements due to variations in costs of living and other contributing factors. However, the application process is similar in all states. In many states, applicants can apply online or by telephone. In addition, residents can check their eligibility for CHIP when they apply for other federal programs or healthcare options.
After being approved for CHIP healthcare, children can begin using benefits immediately. Their insurance can be used for various medical services. These services include physician visits, prescriptions, labs and x-rays. A child’s benefits will last as long as he or she is within the age limits and their parent or guardian meets income requirements. However, the parent or guardian must renew the application annually in order for the child to continue receiving medical benefits. Furthermore, if a resident’s application for CHIP is denied, he or she can appeal the decision through their state CHIP provider. All in all, CHIP enables millions of low-income families to obtain low-cost or free healthcare coverage for their children. Keep reading below to learn more about the CHIP program and how it helps children.
Learn About the Basics of CHIP
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers support to low-income families with dependents through a national healthcare program. Families receiving benefits under the CHIP program can obtain low-cost health services for their children. The program was initially called the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, but even with a different name the program is administered by states. However, state programs must follow federal guidelines. As a result, different states have modified versions of the program to suit their residents. Download our comprehensive guide to learn more about how CHIP differs from state to state.
One of the basic requirements for the CHIP healthcare program is the age of the children who will receive the benefits. They must be within a certain age range to be eligible. In order to determine eligibility, parents or guardians must first submit an application. They must also provide information about their income. Fortunately, the application is simple, and residents can discover if they qualify for other federal programs when filling it out. Once children are approved for benefits, they will continue to have coverage unless their eligibility changes.
Learn About CHIP Requirements
Applicants interested in this affordable health care program for kids must meet various criteria. The qualifications include being able to prove citizenship and state residency. Other eligibility guidelines include the following:
- Income: Income counted when applying for benefits include wages, unemployment benefits and any other additional sources of household income.
- Size of household: The household size is determined by the amount of dependents in the family. These include all dependents claimed on income taxes. Members of the household are counted even if they will not be the ones receiving coverage.
- Age: Children who will be recipients of CHIP coverage must be of a certain age. This requirement can vary by state as some states have additional requirements for children younger than two years of age, for example. Additionally, many states offer coverage to pregnant women regardless of their age.
It is a good idea to apply for CHIP benefits even if you are unsure of whether or not you will be accepted. In addition, applicants for CHIP can also be screen for Medicaid eligibility.
How to Submit a CHIP Application
It is vital that you follow the CHIP application guidelines as they apply to your state of residency. This is because each state administers their program slightly differently. For instance, some states only allow applicants to apply online, while in others they may apply by mail, in person or by fax. Online applicants have to further requirement of having to create a user ID and password with the state’s online benefit portal.
Another avenue of apply for CHIP is through the national Health Insurance Marketplace. The marketplace platform allows users to compare various health coverage options at once. As an added bonus, through their application on the insurance marketplace, users are automatically notified if they may be eligible for other government insurance programs such as Medicaid.
How to Appeal Denials for CHIP Coverage
It is important to keep in mind that not everyone who applies for CHIP benefits with be accepted. Following your submission, your state CHIP office with process the application and notify you of the outcome in due time. In the unfortunate event that you are denied benefits, you receive a letter giving a precise reason as to why your application was denied.
Following a denial of CHIP benefits, applicants have a few options to consider. They either can either apply for another health insurance program during the open enrollment period. The other option is to appeal the denial, either via the state agency or through the health insurance marketplace. There is limited time to file an appeal so it is important that applicants be mindful of the process and how long it may take.