Virginia CHIP is a federally funded program that is designed to provide comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance coverage to children living in low-income households. The program also extends its benefits to pregnant women who are currently earning low incomes. Known throughout the state as Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS), or FAMIS MOMS for pregnant women, CHIP insurance offers this insurance coverage for no monthly premium charges. However, there are some rules when using this insurance coverage, such as those relating to the types of services or treatments that can be sought and the medical providers that enrollees can visit.
Known nationally as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, FAMIS is focused on ensuring children can grow up receiving the quality health care they need to thrive. Additionally, through FAMIS MOMS, pregnant women can also receive important medical care to experience healthy pregnancies and ensure their babies develop properly throughout the process. If a child qualifies for FAMIS Plus, which is the children’s Medicaid program in Virginia, he or she cannot also obtain regular FAMIS benefits. To learn more about CHIP and Medicaid in VA, review the following information.
What is CHIP in Virginia?
Residents who are wondering “What is CHIP in VA?” may be looking for low-cost or free health insurance for their children. Pregnant women may also be in search of financial assistance providing the proper medical care for themselves and their unborn babies through government programs. FAMIS MOMS can assist eligible low-income pregnant women with these expensive medical requirements. The program was created to ensure these pregnant women allow their babies to experience healthy starts in life and so the mothers do not face insurmountable medical debt from health care expenses.
Additionally, the health insurance for kids plan, FAMIS, is also designed to help low-income families avoid exorbitant medical expenses. By providing comprehensive health insurance coverage with no premiums and low copayments, this program encourages these low-income families to always seek medical treatment when needed and to stick to preventive care schedules for their children. By eliminating the medical care costs barriers and making this medical care easily accessible to these families, Virginia CHIP benefits allow children to grow healthily into adulthood.
Learn more about CHIP by downloading our informative CHIP guide.
Who does Virginia CHIP cover?
The Virginia CHIP application process requires applicants to provide information on their households, income and residency statuses. This information is important because it is used by FAMIS representatives to determine whether a child qualifies for coverage. FAMIS MOMS representatives also use the information provided on this application to consider the eligibility of pregnant women who apply to receive benefits through the program. There are several CHIP eligibility guidelines that must be met for a child to qualify for FAMIS coverage. He or she must be:
- Younger than 19 years of age.
- Living in a low-income household.
- A U.S. citizen, qualifying alien or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR).
- A Virginia resident.
- Not currently enrolled in any other health insurance program, including Medicaid (also known as FAMIS Plus in Virginia).
If all of these criteria are met, a child may qualify for CHIP coverage in VA, but the parent or guardian of the child may also be required to provide proof of the details provided on the application. Pregnant women applying for FAMIS MOMS benefits must meet the same criteria, with the exception of being 19 years of age or younger.
The low-income guidelines are determined by the government’s current Federal Poverty Level (FPL). To learn more about the current guidelines for FAMIS, review our comprehensive online guide.
How to Apply for CHIP in Virginia
If you are wondering how to apply for CHIP in Virginia, you can review the different application methods on the Cover Virginia website. To apply for FAMIS for your child, you can submit an application:
- In person.
- By mail.
- By fax.
- By phone.
Before you apply for CHIP online, you can use the website’s pre-screening tool to get a feel for the questions asked and to determine if you think your child will qualify for coverage. It is important to first gather the documents and information you know you will need to provide during the process. This includes W-2s or paycheck stubs, Social Security Numbers (SSNs) and other information about household members.
You can also apply for VA CHIP benefits by printing and completing the application and mailing or faxing it to your local Department of Social Services (DSS) office. If you prefer to obtain assistance with the CHIP application process, you can visit a Social Services office in person with the necessary documents to apply for the program with help from a representative.
What is included with Virginia CHIP coverage?
Program beneficiaries can call the Virginia CHIP number to speak with a representative if they have questions about their benefits and coverage. Generally, the FAMIS program offers comprehensive insurance for any preventative or necessary medical, dental and vision services and treatments. Some of the covered services include:
- Annual wellness checkups.
- Mental health care.
- Vision exams and eyeglasses, if needed.
- Dental cleanings.
- X-rays and bloodwork.
- Emergency Room visits.
To utilize Children’s Health Insurance Program benefits, beneficiaries must visit medical providers that participate in the program. If a program enrollee utilizes the services of a medical provider that does not accept these benefits, he or she may be responsible for paying for this health care out of pocket. There may be additional programs and insurance included with FAMIS or FAMIS MOMS for certain beneficiaries who qualify.
To find out more about potential additional CHIP coverage in VA, download our detailed guide.
How much is CHIP health insurance in Virginia?
Virginia CHIP does not require beneficiaries to pay monthly premiums, unlike private health insurance companies. While program enrollees are not responsible for paying premiums every month, they may be required to make copayments when seeking treatment. The exact copayment amounts may vary, depending on the copay status of the beneficiary and the type of medical care scheduled. Native Americans and Alaskan natives approved for FAMIS benefits are not required to provide copayments for covered services.
How long do CHIP benefits last in Virginia?
A VA CHIP insurance policy has a one-year term limit. However, if a family or beneficiary no longer meets the FAMIS eligibility guidelines, coverage may be cancelled. For example, if a family starts to earn too much income to qualify for coverage, the child can no longer receive benefits. If a child becomes too old for coverage or obtains health insurance elsewhere, the policy will also be cancelled.