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Learn About CHIP in Maryland

In Maryland, CHIP is called the Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP) and it provides an invaluable service to uninsured children younger than 19 years of age. Through CHIP insurance, children who would otherwise go without affordable healthcare are provided comprehensive health insurance coverage and benefits at a small cost to parents. The program is designed to provide affordable healthcare options to children who do not qualify for the Maryland Medicaid program due to income, but whose parents do not make enough to afford private healthcare.

This children’s health insurance program provides care from a variety of managed care organizations (MCOs) throughout Maryland in order to provide children with access to a greater network of medical services. Before applying for the program, however, you are strongly encouraged to learn more about coverage benefits, costs, the length of coverage and eligibility requirements that must be met in order to participate.

What is CHIP in Maryland?

CHIP Medicaid is a health insurance program that provides parents of uninsured children with a means to obtain affordable healthcare for their kids. Health insurance for kids is an essential part of development and the state believes that no child should go without affordable and quality healthcare. Today, thousands of children are enrolled in MCHP each year, sharply reducing the amount of uninsured children throughout the state.

Before submitting a CHIP application in MD, you are strongly encouraged to learn more about MCHP, including the benefits that the program has to offer, the application process, what to expect if approved for benefits, the eligibility requirements for the program and so on. By learning more about MCHP before you apply, you will be better prepared for the application process, given the opportunity to verify whether or not your child may be eligible and understand the small fees associated with the program.

Who does Maryland CHIP cover?

If you would like to apply for a child health insurance plan through the Maryland Children’s Health Program, it is worth first reviewing the eligibility requirements associated with the program. As mentioned previously, by learning more, you will gain a better understanding as to whether or not your child may qualify for benefits as well as prepare yourself for the CHIP application process.

For a child to meet CHIP eligibility in Maryland, he or she must be younger than 19 years of age and a resident of the state. Children must be living with the individual that submits an application, however, grandparents and other caretakers are also allowed to submit an application if caring for a child and the parent is not living in the household. Children cannot be eligible for Medicaid and cannot receive other forms of health insurance while enrolled in the program.

CHIP insurance is income based and there are income limits associated with it. However, it is also worth knowing that those income limits are far higher than that of Medicaid as the program is designed to provide coverage for children who do not qualify for the Medicaid program based upon family income. Not only will income levels determine a child’s eligibility for the program, but also the premium amount that parents and caretakers can expect to pay each month for the child’s health insurance benefits.

How to Apply for CHIP in Maryland

A Maryland CHIP application can be submitted in multiple ways, including online, in person, over the phone or through the use of a free mobile app. Many of these application methods provide a great deal of convenience to the applicant as most do not require the applicant to leave his or her home in order to apply. Applications can generally be completed in 30 minutes or less.

An online CHIP application can be completed at any time of day from the comfort of your own home. Online applications include simple navigations and you can pick up where you left off later if you do not wish to complete your application without pause. Alternatively, you may also download the free mobile app, Enroll MHC, to submit an application through your smart device. During normal business hours, you can contact Maryland Health Connection by phone to provide information about yourself and your child over the phone in order to determine your eligibility and submit an application. Lastly, you do have the option to visit a local health department, connector entity or department of social services to apply in person.

After you apply for CHIP in Maryland, you will receive a letter within 14 days of the date your application is received. This letter will inform you as to whether or not your child was eligible to receive benefits through MCHP. If your child was deemed eligible, you will also receive a red and white medical assistance card. This card may be used until you enroll in the HealthChoice program and select an MCO and primary care physician.

What is included with Maryland CHIP coverage?

CHIP benefits in Maryland are not identical to the benefits that are provided in other states. While CHIP does exist within each state and it is a nationally recognized program, every state has the ability to determine its program coverage, costs and even eligibility. Therefore, no two programs are identical. In Maryland, CHIP coverage benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Doctor visits.
  • Hospital care.
  • Lab work and tests.
  • Dental care.
  • Vision care.
  • Preventative care, including immunizations.
  • Prescription medications.
  • Mental health services.
  • Substance abuse treatment.
  • Transportation to medical appointments.

For further details on the types of services covered under CHIP in Maryland, download our comprehensive guide.

How much is CHIP health insurance in Maryland?

If approved for CHIP benefits, you will receive a small monthly premium each month that must be paid in a timely manner in order to continue coverage. The monthly premium amount does vary, based upon family income at the time of the application. Premiums go towards the cost of coverage. The premium amount is so affordable, in fact, that by law a family cannot contribute more than 5 percent of their annual income each year towards the cost of MCHP.

How long do CHIP benefits last in Maryland?

If approved for CHIP insurance, benefits will generally last for a period of 12 months. Benefits could end prematurely for a few reasons, however, such as failing to pay premiums, if a child turns 19 during that 12-month period or if the child moves outside of the state.

Towards the end of an MD CHIP coverage period, you will receive a notice in the mail notifying you that coverage will soon end. This notice will also include a renewal application that you may complete and return if you would like to extend your child’s health insurance coverage. Should you choose to do so, your child’s eligibility for the program will be reevaluated. If approved, coverage will be extended for an additional 12 months. Premium amounts may or may not change, based upon family income. In order to avoid a lapse in your child’s health insurance, it is important that you complete and return the application in a timely manner.