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Learn About CHIP in Montana

Montana CHIP is a state health insurance program available to children of low-income families who cannot afford private coverage. The Children’s Health Insurance Program is officially known as Healthy Montana Kids (HMK), which provides free or low-cost health insurance to eligible children across the state. It is a federal assistance program funded jointly by states and the federal government. The health insurance program is available in every state, though the exact coverage, name and funding differs across the country. Health insurance for kids is available through HMK, one of several insurance options in Montana. Children younger than 19 years of age whose family income falls within a certain range eligible for the program.

CHIP insurance is administered at the state level. As such, specific costs, program benefits, application procedures and program requirements vary. Montana determines the program conditions each year. To learn more about the program, including CHIP eligibility requirements, benefits and costs, continue reading the sections below.

What is CHIP in Montana?

In Montana, the child health insurance plan is offered through Healthy Montana Kids (HMK). It covers children younger than 19 years of age whose families cannot afford private health care coverage. The plan is known as a blended CHIP Medicaid program, as funding is provided by the federal government to cover these assistance programs. The plan provides children with access to important health care services, prescription drugs, ambulance services and much more. It is a free or low-cost insurance program created to ease the financial burden of health care for low-income families across the state.

CHIP coverage is comprehensive and includes a variety of medically necessary services. For some, the cost of these services is covered by copayments, but other enrollees are exempt from copayments.

To learn more about the benefits, download our information guide here.

Who does Montana CHIP cover?

All applicants must meet the CHIP eligibility requirements before they can start receiving program benefits. In Montana, applicants are required to provide proof of meeting income, residency and age requirements. The plan is open to children younger than 19 years of age whose families cannot afford other health care coverage. Furthermore, applicants must be residents of the state and be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or qualified noncitizens.

CHIP coverage is granted to those who meet all conditions of the program. The state must review all applications and all required documents before accepting enrollees. If you are wondering, “Can I get health insurance for my child only?” you must review your eligibility status by applying. The program helps cover the cost of medical services for children when there are gaps in your family’s coverage.

How to Apply for CHIP in Montana

Those interested in finding coverage must submit a CHIP application to see if their children qualify for free or low-cost health coverage. The steps for applying require all enrollees to provide information about their income, household size and residency. Applications are processed by the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).

There are a few ways to begin the application process. You may apply for CHIP online through the department’s online application portal. This is the fastest method of applying for the program. You need to create an online account with the DPHHS to submit an online application.

You may also apply for coverage by downloading the form, completing it and returning it to the DPHHS. The department accepts mailed applications, but you may also return it in person to your county office. Call the CHIP number of your local office for questions about the application process.

During the application process, you may be asked to submit proof of meeting the requirements, including:

  • Proof of identity.
  • Proof of income.
  • Proof of residency.

For more details on how to apply in your state, click here to download our free comprehensive guide.

What is included with Montana CHIP coverage?

MT CHIP insurance provides free or low-cost health care coverage to children younger than 19 years of age. Covered benefits in Montana include medically necessary health care and medical services. Upon submitting a CHIP application, the DPHHS notifies the applicant if his or her children are covered.

CHIP benefits are covered by many health care providers around the state. Before receiving care from a provider of your choice, be sure to check that the provider accepts HMK coverage. Services are only covered by HMK-approved providers. Call the CHIP number for help if you are unsure which providers are covered under your insurance plan.

There are many services covered by the HMK plan, such as:

  • Ambulance services
  • Vision care
  • Dental services
  • Doctor visits
  • Hearing exams
  • Hospital stays

Some types of CHIP coverage and services may require copayments or prior authorization.

How much is CHIP health insurance in Montana?

The cost of Montana CHIP reflects each applicant’s income and household size. Everyone who applies for the program must submit documents that prove income and household size. The state uses these factors to determine the cost of the insurance plan per family.

Under the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), parents of children younger than 19 years of age are not required to make any copayments for covered services. However, some families with combined assistance insurance may be required to pay copayments. Those required to make copayments for services have an annual limit which, when exceeded, allows families to be reimbursed.

How long do CHIP benefits last in Montana?

CHIP coverage in Montana is valid for a period of one year. After benefits expire, enrollees must renew their coverage to continue receiving benefits. The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) mails all applicants a notice alerting them when it is time to renew coverage. Children will continue benefitting from the program as long as they still qualify each year.

To continue receiving CHIP benefits, enrollees must also notify the department of any changes in their personal information. For example, members who change their addresses must report this change to the DPHHS to avoid missing important correspondence. Other changes that could affect CHIP eligibility include a change of income, employment and immigration status. Failing to notify the department of these changes may result in termination from the program. Call the CHIP number of your local office to report any changes or ask about renewal periods.