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Learn About CHIP in North Dakota

North Dakota CHIP is commonly referred to throughout the state as the Healthy Steps program. Implemented by the state’s Department of Human Services, the program is dedicated to ensuring all children living in low-income families have medical coverage. CHIP insurance is short for Children’s Health Insurance Plan. It provides financial assistance for important and life-saving services, such as X-rays or prescription drugs. The main goal of the insurance program is to prevent families from going into medical debt for preventive care, routine health checkups or medical emergencies.

Families interested in the ND Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) should first review the program eligibility guidelines before attempting to apply. These qualifications include age restrictions and low-income guidelines that must be met before coverage is provided. Through the Healthy Steps program, children can maintain healthy lifestyles throughout their growing years, allowing them to become productive adults. To find out more about how CHIP Medicaid and other medical insurance benefits compare, including the eligibility guidelines, review the following information.

What is CHIP in North Dakota?

Many residents may wonder “What is CHIP in ND and how do I apply?” This program provides medical coverage for children who are living in low-income households and do not qualify for other medical assistance, such as Medicaid. Through this program, children can receive low-cost or free coverage for:

  • Medical services.
  • Dental services.
  • Vision services.

With comprehensive health insurance for kids, families can stay out of medical debt but ensure their children get proper and necessary medical treatments. Since these plans offer services for free or for affordable copayments, these low-income children can seek preventive care or emergency medical treatments when needed without worrying about the expenses.

Who does North Dakota CHIP cover?

Before completing a CHIP application in ND, it is important to review the guidelines for the program. A child must meet all eligibility guidelines before he or she can receive medical coverage through the Healthy Steps program. To qualify for coverage, the child must be:

  • A resident of North Dakota.
  • 18 years of age or younger.
  • Not qualified to receive Medicaid coverage.
  • Currently without any other forms of health, medical, vision or dental insurance.
  • Living in a family with a low income.
  • A U.S. citizen or alien who meets specific qualifications.

In some cases, pregnant women may also qualify for coverage if they meet all other guidelines. Since this child health insurance plan is funded by the U.S. government, the low-income guidelines are determined using the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) as a reference. The program is only designed to assist children who cannot afford medical care, so these eligibility requirements are always enforced.

To learn more about the program, download our comprehensive guide.

How to Apply for CHIP in North Dakota

If you think your child meets the North Dakota CHIP eligibility guidelines and you need medical coverage for him or her, complete the CHIP application process. There are two different applications you can obtain through the Department of Human Services. One is an application that is strictly for medical coverage. By completing and submitting this application, the department can let you know if you qualify for CHIP benefits or Medicaid. Keep in mind that if you qualify for Medicaid, you cannot enroll in the Healthy Steps program. The other available application is for the Healthy Steps program and additional government assistance programs, such as food assistance or help with child care expenses.

You can complete the application for ND CHIP coverage online, but it must be submitted by mail or in person. If you choose to complete the application online, you must still manually submit it to the corresponding department. To obtain a blank application that you can complete at home, call or email your local county social services office to request a form be mailed to your address. You can also visit the office during regular business hours to obtain this application.

What is included with North Dakota CHIP coverage?

In addition to medical coverage, there is also North Dakota CHIP dental coverage included with the program. Vision coverage is also provided to eligible program applicants. Children who are enrolled in the program are provided with extensive medical and preventive health care for little to no cost, including:

  • Surgeries.
  • Hospital stays.
  • Prescription drugs.
  • Mental health services.
  • Vaccines.
  • Wellness exams.

Upon acceptance into the program, enrollees and their parents are provided with information on covered services. Children who have pre-existing conditions are not excluded from coverage and can seek treatment for these conditions after their insurance coverage becomes active.

How much is CHIP health insurance in North Dakota?

Once you have reviewed who qualifies for CHIP in North Dakota, you can learn more about the benefits available and potential out-of-pocket expenses you may incur. There are no monthly premiums charged through the Healthy Steps program. However, certain medical procedures and exams may require copayments that must be paid before services are rendered. The exact copayment amounts for procedures may vary, but the program keeps these fees affordable. Some of the services that may warrant copayments include:

  • Emergency room visits.
  • Certain types of prescription drugs.
  • Hospital admissions.

There may be some exceptions to these copayments, depending on your situation. To learn more about the program, download our informative guide.

How long do CHIP benefits last in North Dakota?

Once you have applied for the ND CHIP program for yourself or your child, the department will provide you with information on how long you can receive benefits. Additionally, there is a specific date that coverage will begin. It is important to note that you cannot seek treatment for yourself or your child using these benefits immediately after applying. Your coverage will begin one month after approval, and you will receive a list of participating medical providers in the mail from the Department of Human Services, along with an insurance card.

CHIP insurance is valid for one year after the start date of the plan. However, the coverage may be discontinued at any time if you or your child experience changes that disqualify you from the program. It is important to inform the department if you experience income increases or decreases, you begin qualifying for Medicaid or your household composition changes. For example, if you obtain health coverage elsewhere, you are no long eligible for the Healthy Steps program. If your child becomes too old to qualify for the program, his or her benefits will also be cancelled.