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Learn About CHIP in Washington

In Washington CHIP is called Apple Health for Kids and is designed to assist low-income families in obtaining free or low-cost health insurance for their children. Additionally, this program provides health coverage to the full-time caretakers of these minors and to pregnant women who also meet all eligibility guidelines. The purpose of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is to make it easier for these low-income families to seek preventive and necessary medical treatments for children during their growing years without negative financial strain on household budgets. Children who are provided with adequate health care during their younger years become healthier and more successful adults.

WA CHIP insurance is federally funded, but benefits are not available to all families in the state. To qualify, these families must apply for coverage and meet the program’s eligibility requirements, including residency status and income limits. Some program beneficiaries receive free insurance through the program, while other families may be required to pay low-cost premiums for the coverage. With comprehensive medical coverage, this health insurance for kids provides all the financial assistance needed to keep children healthy and thriving. To find out more about the program, including how to apply for benefits, review the following information.

What is CHIP in Washington?

Washington CHIP and Medicaid programs are commonly referred to throughout the state as Apple Health for Kids and Apple Health coverage, respectively. These programs are designed to provide comprehensive health insurance coverage to low-income families and children living in these households. The Apple Health for Kids program has less strict income guidelines, allowing families who do not qualify for Medicaid to potentially receive coverage from this federally funded program.

Residents who ask “What is CHIP in WA?” should learn more about how the program’s benefits work and what is covered. Not only does this program provide health care coverage, but it also may provide limited dental and vision care coverage to recipients. CHIP dental coverage allows children to maintain teeth-cleaning schedules and ensure proper oral care throughout their growing years. Parents also find it easier to continue providing vision exams and corrective vision tools to their children with the program’s coverage, since it is less of a financial burden.

Learn more about the CHIP program in our informative guide.

Who does Washington CHIP cover?

The Washington CHIP application includes several sections that ask for an applicant’s income information and household makeup. The answers to these questions can determine an applicant’s eligibility status. The parents or guardians of eligible children can complete the application process for them. These parents may also be able to qualify for benefits through the program if all qualifications are met. The most important CHIP eligibility guidelines include:

  • Low-income guidelines. The income that a family can earn and still qualify for benefits depends on the number of household members. These guidelines are set using the government’s Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Therefore, the low-income requirements can change each year.
  • Credible health insurance coverage. A child who currently has credible health insurance coverage, such as a group health insurance plan or a private health insurance plan, is not eligible for benefits through Apple Health for Kids. If the child is eligible for Medicaid, he or she also cannot receive CHIP benefits through the program.
  • Residency and citizenship requirements. You must be able to prove that the child is a Washington resident to meet the program’s eligibility guidelines. Likewise, there must be proof that the child is a legal U.S. citizen or a legally present alien.
  • Age or caregiver status. To access benefits, a child must be younger 19 years of age. The parent or guardian of a child younger than 19 years of age who is the primary caregiver may also apply for benefits, as long as he or she meets all other eligibility guidelines.

How to Apply for CHIP in Washington

If you are ready to apply for the child health insurance plan in WA, you can choose the application method that you prefer. You can apply for program benefits:

  • Online.
  • By phone.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

If you choose to apply for CHIP online, you must first sign into the Washington Healthplanfinder website and choose the “Apply Now” option. The system will ask you for information about your household, income and current health insurance, if any. If you are a teen or young adult, you can complete the application process without the assistance of an adult. However, if you still live with a parent or guardian, keep in mind you will need the income information and Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for all members of the household.

To see if you qualify for CHIP coverage in Washington by phone, call the customer service support center. A representative will ask you questions to determine your eligibility and can assist you in completing an application, if needed. You can also download and print a blank application online and mail it to the department. Additionally, you have the option of visiting a local office and completing the application process in person.

To find out more about how to apply for CHIP, download our guide.

What is included with Washington CHIP coverage?

Washington CHIP coverage allows children to receive preventive, emergency and necessary medical care. However, these beneficiaries can only visit participating medical providers to use their benefits. After enrolling, the department sends information on how to locate these medical providers to make appointments.

CHIP benefits may cover the following:

  • Wellness exams
  • Vaccines and immunizations
  • Prescription drugs
  • Mental health care
  • X-rays and lab work
  • Hospital visits

In some cases, limited dental and vision coverage is also available for beneficiaries. Before making health care appointments, program enrollees are encouraged to consult program handbooks or contact representatives to learn more about their coverage.

How much is CHIP health insurance in Washington?

Many applicants who qualify for CHIP in Washington receive comprehensive health insurance for free. However, some beneficiaries are required to pay low monthly premiums to continue receiving this coverage. An applicant’s earned household income is used to determine whether or not premiums will be charged monthly.

Many services and treatments that are covered under the Apple Health for Kids plan are free because they are considered preventive. However, certain treatments and services may require beneficiaries to pay affordable copayments.

How long do CHIP benefits last in Washington?

After you submit a Washington CHIP application and you are approved for benefits through the program, you will receive an insurance card in the mail. The effective date of your policy is displayed on the card, and the coverage is active for one year after that date. You can choose to renew your benefits if you feel you are still eligible for the program at that time. However, if you no longer meet the eligibility guidelines, you can consult with the department to learn about other low-cost health insurance options or private insurance companies.