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Learn About CHIP in Colorado

Colorado CHIP, the state’s Child Health Plan Plus program, is a public, low-cost health insurance that is provided primarily to children, but is also available to certain qualifying pregnant women. CHIP insurance is designed to provide coverage to individuals who do not qualify for Colorado’s Medicaid program (Health First Colorado), but do not have enough income to pay for private health insurance.

Before you apply for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, it is worth reviewing the eligibility requirements for benefits that must be met in order to receive coverage from the program. Eligibility is based upon a number of factors, including residency, income, citizenship, age and other requirements. After learning about these eligibility requirements, you can determine whether or not this program is right for your child by reviewing the coverage levels provided within Colorado. Should you choose to apply for coverage, you may do so in person, online or by mail.

What is CHIP in Colorado?

At times referred to as CHIP Medicaid, the Colorado Child Health Plan Plus provides health insurance coverage to qualifying children and pregnant women who do not qualify for Health First Colorado (Medicaid) due to too high of an income. While income is a factor in eligibility for the program, acceptable income is higher than that of the Health First Colorado.

This health insurance for kids program provides a great deal of health insurance coverage that is similar to that of the state’s Medicaid program. Benefits are provided for a set period of time with options of renewal, if the individual or child still qualifies. Therefore, it is important to learn more about coverage offered through the program as well as the eligibility requirements that must be met in order to receive coverage.

Who does Colorado CHIP cover?

Before submitting a CHIP application in Colorado, you are strongly encouraged to review the program’s eligibility requirements in order to determine whether or not you or your child qualifies for coverage through the Colorado Child Health Plan Plus.

In order to qualify for CHIP, children must be under the age of 19. Pregnant women may be considered eligible beyond the age of 18. Eligible applicants must be residents of Colorado and either a United States citizen or a qualifying legal immigrant. In order to receive CHIP coverage, children and pregnant women must not be eligible to receive benefits from Health First Colorado and must not have any other form of health insurance.

Finally, CHIP eligibility requirements can only be met by children and pregnant woman who meets income related eligibility requirements. As stated previously, these income limits are higher than that of the Medicaid program. If you have been denied coverage through the Colorado Child Health Plan Plus, you may still be eligible for this program, so long as you still meet eligibility requirements.

How to Apply for CHIP in Colorado

If you would like to apply for CHIP benefits in Colorado, you may do so in a number of ways, including by:

  • Applying online.
  • Submitting an application in person.
  • Applying over the phone.
  • Submitting an application by mail.

Applying for CHIP coverage online is typically considered the easiest method to apply as well as one of the fastest. An application can be submitted from the comfort of your own home, without having to abide by office hours and without having to wait for postage times before your application can be processed.

You may also submit a CHIP application in person at your local office or contact the state program to submit information for an application over the phone. Alternatively, you can also mail your application, however, it is worth knowing that processing times may take longer due to postage times. If you would like to submit an application by mail, you may obtain an application online or at various hospitals and physician clinics. To learn more about the CHIP application process, click here to download our guide to CHIP benefits.

What is included with Colorado CHIP coverage?

Colorado CHIP benefits are unique to Colorado. While CHIP exists in one form or another in every state within the U.S., however, each state determines the amount of coverage provided in the program within its own state. Therefore, it is important to learn more about the benefits that CHIP provides to eligible applicants. In Colorado, coverage includes, but is not limited to:

  • Primary care.
  • Emergency care and urgent care.
  • Hospital services.
  • Dental care (for children only)
  • Prescription drugs.
  • Maternity care.
  • Mental health and behavioral health care services.

How much is CHIP health insurance in Colorado?

Cost for Colorado CHIP will vary based upon family gross income levels. Not only do income limits determine whether or not a child or pregnant woman is eligible for benefits, but the costs that the family may be required to pay for services. Prenatal women, American Indians and Alaskan Natives will not be required to pay an annual enrollment fee or any copayments. Pregnant women will not receive an annual enrollment fee. Anyone else receiving coverage will have enrollment fees and copayments for medical services.

CHIP insurance has standard enrollment fees as well as small copayments. However, copayments are never charged for services such as preventative care, including immunizations, as well as prenatal care and check-ups. The maximum amount of money that a family will be required to pay is five percent of the family’s annual income.

How long do CHIP benefits last in Colorado?

Colorado CHIP can last for up to 12 months from the date that an application is received. In the case of pregnant women, coverage begins the date that the application is received and will last for at least 60 days after pregnancy ends. Coverage may end abruptly if the beneficiary moves out of state or turns 19 years of age (unless pregnant).

Three months prior to the end of CHIP insurance coverage, you will receive a packet that must be completed if you would like to renew coverage. It is important to complete and return this packet in a timely manner in order to avoid any lapse in coverage. For children who still qualify for benefits, coverage can be extended for an additional 12 months before another renewal will need to be completed.