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Learn About CHIP in South Carolina

South Carolina CHIP is a program designed to offer children younger than 19 years of age comprehensive health, dental and vision insurance for free. To qualify for this free coverage, applicants must prove they live in low-income households and that they reside in South Carolina full-time. This program, also referred to formally as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, is a federally funded branch of Medicaid that is focused on minors who live in households that are financially struggling. The program’s goal is to ensure all children throughout the state have adequate health insurance, which leads to better medical care and healthier lives. It also reduces the likelihood that these low-income households will face debt due to medical expenses.

SC CHIP insurance is also referred to as the Healthy Connections Medicaid program because it combines both CHIP and Medicaid insurance programs as one. By completing an application for the program, an applicant can learn about the types of health insurance available to him or her in the state. Even if the applicant does not qualify for a child’s insurance plan, then Medicaid or a private insurance company may be able to offer coverage. To learn about CHIP Medicaid and how these programs work together to provide medical insurance to low-income households, review the information below.

What is CHIP in South Carolina?

Low-income residents with children who wonder “What is CHIP in SC?” should review the eligibility criteria and benefits available through the program. Also referred to commonly as the Partners for Healthy Children (PHC) program, the health insurance coverage provided includes a comprehensive list of medical, dental and vision treatments and preventative care. Since the program is applied for in conjunction with Medicaid, most families who apply will qualify for some type of coverage through one of the programs.

If an applicant qualifies for health insurance for kids through the program, he or she will receive all the benefits that the Medicaid program offers. This means no monthly premium charges and only small copayments for certain services. Most medical treatments, whether preventive or necessary, are covered under the program. Some of the most common treatments include:

  • X-rays.
  • Labs and bloodwork.
  • Hospital visits.
  • Mental health care.
  • Vision screenings.
  • Dental cleanings.
  • Prescription drugs.

As long as a beneficiary continues to qualify for benefits with the program, he or she can renew the policy and continue receiving coverage.

Learn more about the CHIP program in our informative guide.

Who does South Carolina CHIP cover?

The South Carolina CHIP application asks for several pieces of important information to determine if an applicant is eligible for insurance coverage through the program. The guidelines for program eligibility mainly relate to age, residency status and the income a household earns. Specifically, the CHIP eligibility guidelines include the following:

  • An enrollee must be younger than 19 years of age.
  • The applicant must prove he or she is a resident in the state of South Carolina.
  • A beneficiary must be a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR).
  • The program applicant must also have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or be able to prove he or she has applied for a number.

Additionally, to prove eligibility for SC CHIP benefits, an applicant must prove that his or her household meets the program’s strict low-income guidelines. These low-income requirements may change annually because they are determined by using the government’s Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines that are set each year. The exact income level that proves eligibility also depends on the size of the household.

To find out more about CHIP, download and review our informative guide.

How to Apply for CHIP in South Carolina

Once you understand who qualifies for CHIP in South Carolina, you can determine if you think you or your child should apply for coverage. You must complete the Health Connections application. There are several application methods you can use to provide the proper information to the Department of Health and Human Services to determine your eligibility.

You can apply for coverage:

  • Online.
  • In person.
  • By mail.

Most potential applicants prefer to apply for CHIP online because it is convenient and the application process can be completed at any time of day. To complete the application online, you must first create an account on the Health Insurance Marketplace and provide the information that the system requests. You will be informed if you qualify for SC CHIP coverage, Medicaid coverage or if you should consider looking into private insurance companies.

You can download and print a CHIP application online to mail in to the Department of Health and Human Services in Columbia once complete. You can also visit a local department office or certain health centers or hospitals to complete the application process.

What is included with South Carolina CHIP coverage?

If you are wondering “Can I get health insurance for my child only in SC?” keep in mind that the PHC is designed specifically for children and not for adults. Therefore, if your child meets all eligibility qualifications, he or she may be able to obtain health insurance coverage through this program.

CHIP dental coverage is included in this program, in addition to medical and vision insurance. Most services and treatments are covered through the program, as long as they are deemed necessary or preventive by medical professionals. These services may include routine checkups, immunizations or vision screenings.

How much is CHIP health insurance in South Carolina?

South Carolina CHIP does not charge beneficiaries monthly premiums. However, some treatments or services may require beneficiaries to pay copayments before they can be performed. Child wellness exams are completely free and do not require copayments, but other services may and the fees will vary. These copayments are usually extremely affordable for low-income families with coverage.

How long do CHIP benefits last in South Carolina?

You can apply for CHIP insurance in SC at any time. Unlike with private health insurance, there are no specific enrollment periods. Once you have successfully obtained insurance, the coverage is valid for one year. The department will notify you when your policy term is about to expire. At that point, you can attempt to renew your coverage for another term if you feel you still meet all eligibility guidelines. The department will provide you with a list of information that needs to be verified to potentially renew your coverage.