Maine CHIP, a part of MaineCare, provides children who would otherwise be uninsured with comprehensive health insurance benefits. The CHIP insurance program serves children who are younger than 19 years of age who meet residency and income related requirements. In some cases, pregnant women may also be eligible to receive coverage for the duration of the pregnancy in order to receive adequate prenatal care. Before coverage can be granted, however, children and pregnant women must meet eligibility requirements and complete an application.
While this children’s health insurance program exists in every state within the U.S., each state has its own unique program, and Maine is no different. The state determines the eligibility requirements, coverage options and costs of the program. Therefore, it is important to review the information regarding the program within the sections below.
What is CHIP in Maine?
CHIP Medicaid provides astounding health insurance coverage to children and pregnant women who qualify. This program is provided through the state Medicaid program, but it is separate from Medicaid.
When considering health insurance for kids through CHIP, it is worth knowing that this is a nationally recognized and implemented program, but benefits differ from one state to the next. The program is designed to reduce the number of children and pregnant women who lack affordable health care.
Who does Maine CHIP cover?
If considering a CHIP application, you are strongly encouraged to first review the program’s eligibility requirements in order to gain a better understanding of who this program is for as well as verify whether or not your child or yourself is eligible to receive coverage. CHIP eligibility requirements primarily focuses upon age, circumstance, residency and income related requirements. In order to be potentially eligible for benefits, you must either be a child who is younger than 19 years of age or a pregnant woman. If you are not a resident of Maine, you will be referred to your home state’s program.
CHIP benefits are designed to provide affordable health insurance coverage to those who would otherwise be uninsured. Therefore, a child or pregnant woman cannot qualify for coverage if that individual has another form of health insurance or is eligible to receive benefits from the state Medicaid program.
CHIP coverage can only be provided if income limits are not exceeded. Income limits are determined by household size and the current year’s federal poverty line. While income limits do exist within this program, it is worth knowing that limits are higher than that of Medicaid, allowing individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid to still be able to obtain affordable health coverage. Therefore, you should still consider applying for this program, even if you have been previously denied for Medicaid health insurance.
How to Apply for CHIP in Maine
When applying for CHIP, it is important to know that online applications are not accepted at this time. Instead, you will need to either visit a Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in your area or mail a completed application. There are a number of ways that you can request an application if you would like to mail one. You can obtain a CHIP application in ME by:
- Printing an application from the DHHS website.
- Contacting your local DHHS office and requesting that an application be mailed to you.
- Emailing the DHHS requesting that an application be mailed to you.
CHIP insurance does not require that you complete an interview in order to verify eligibility. However, if the DHHS cannot verify your eligibility electronically, you may need to provide additional documentation such as:
- Proof of income.
- Proof of identity.
- Proof of residence.
You will be notified if additional documentation is required in order to process your application.
To find out more about CHIP, download our free guide.
What is included with Maine CHIP coverage?
If approved for CHIP benefits, you can expect to receive comprehensive health insurance benefits, including, but not limited to:
- Doctor visits.
- Immunizations and other preventative care measures.
- Prescription medications.
- Laboratory and x-ray services.
- Dental care.
- Vision care.
- Hearing tests.
- Emergency services.
- Mental health services.
- Prenatal care.
- Transportation for medical appointments.
Maine CHIP is governed by the state and therefore different than programs governed by other states. Therefore, it is important to review the guidelines carefully, even if you have previously been familiar with another state’s program. Download our comprehensive guide to get more familiar with CHIP coverage options.
How much is CHIP health insurance in Maine?
If approved for CHIP benefits, it is worth knowing that your coverage may be free or you may be required to pay a small monthly premium for benefits. Additionally, some parents may need to make small copayments at the time of receiving some medical services. However, copayments are never charged for certain medical services such as preventative care and immunizations.
Maine CHIP insurance costs, or whether a monthly fee will be charged at all, is based upon your family income at the time of your application.
How long do CHIP benefits last in Maine?
Once approved for CHIP coverage, it is worth knowing that health insurance benefits are generally provided for a 12-month beneficiary period. While benefits are not generally interrupted, they can be canceled prematurely if a child turns 19, if the participant moves outside of the state or following the end of a pregnancy.
Before your ME CHIP coverage ends, you will receive a notice from your local DHHS office inviting you to complete a renewal application. If you would like to continue to receive benefits, this application must be completed and returned either by mail or in person in a timely manner. If the completed application is not received in a timely manner, your benefits may be cancelled. Should this happen, you will need to submit a new application and go through the CHIP application process again in order to reinstate coverage.