In Wyoming CHIP is called the Kids Care CHIP program and it is dedicated to ensuring all children, regardless of income, have access to affordable health care. The program provides medical, dental and vision insurance to children living in low-income households who are not already insured and do not qualify for Medicaid. Children who qualify for the program are provided with comprehensive coverage that allows them to treat pre-existing conditions, schedule preventive care and seek emergency medical treatment without putting their families into debt.
To obtain CHIP insurance in WY, an applicant must thoroughly complete the application process and prove his or her eligibility. In most cases, the full-time parents or guardians of potential beneficiaries complete the application process for their minor children. Not all residents will qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) because it includes strict qualifications that must be met. This ensures the federal funding provided for the state-run program is allocated directly to the residents who need it. To learn more about this program, review the following sections.
What is CHIP in Wyoming?
It is important to remember that CHIP and Medicaid in Wyoming are two different programs. A child who qualifies for Medicaid cannot receive Kids Care CHIP coverage as well. The Kids Care program is specifically designed to provide insurance coverage to children who live in households that earn too much income to qualify for the Medicaid program, yet not enough to afford private insurance or other insurance options. Therefore, when residents wonder “What is CHIP?” they can think of it as Medicaid for children, but with slightly easier low-income guidelines.
When a child is accepted into this health insurance for kids program, he or she gains access to comprehensive health insurance. As long as a child is given treatment that is preventive or necessary from a medical provider that participates in the program, the service is provided for free or for a low copayment. This allows families to pursue these medical services and treatments for their children without having to worry about the hefty medical expenses that are often associated with health care. Additionally, CHIP dental coverage is also provided through the program, as well as vision care. This ensures all children can continue receiving teeth cleanings and eye exams, as well as corrective eyeglasses, when needed.
Who does Wyoming CHIP cover?
Residents must complete the Wyoming CHIP application to determine if their children qualify for coverage through the program. There are several qualifying factors that are used to confirm eligibility, such as the income a household earns, the age of the applicant and his or her residency or citizenship status. Generally, to meet the WY CHIP eligibility guidelines, an applicant must:
- Be younger than 19 years of age.
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident who has lived in the country for at least five years.
- Be a Wyoming resident.
- Live in a household that falls within the program’s low-income guidelines.
- Not have health insurance, including Medicaid.
The child health insurance plan low-income guidelines are set using the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Potential applicants whose households earn incomes slightly higher than the guideline should consider applying for coverage anyway. The department makes some exceptions to the low-income guidelines in certain cases. The exact income that makes a household eligible also depends on the number of family members in said household.
To qualify for CHIP benefits, there are additional guidelines for children, including their parents or guardians’ employment. For example, a child who is a dependent of an adult currently insured through Employees’ Group Insurance in Wyoming may not be eligible for Kids Care CHIP coverage.
To find out more about the program, review our detailed guide.
How to Apply for CHIP in Wyoming
Once potential applicants understand who qualifies for CHIP in Wyoming, they can choose to apply for coverage if they feel their children meet the eligibility requirements. Parents or guardians of minors can apply for coverage for their children online, by phone, by mail or in person at a local office. Before attempting to apply for CHIP, these potential applicants should gather the documentation needed to provide accurate and thorough information throughout the application process. Documentation may include:
- Employer and income information.
- Policy numbers for current health insurance, if applicable.
- Information on employer-related insurance available to the family.
To apply for CHIP online in WY, a potential applicant must create an account with the Wyoming Eligibility System (WES). This account is used to complete the process, and the applicant can sign back into the site to check the application status and benefits available. Alternatively, potential applicants can download and print paper applications. Once completed, signed and dated, they can submit these applications to the Department of Health, either by mail or in person.
What is included with Wyoming CHIP coverage?
Wyoming CHIP coverage through the Kids Care CHIP program is extensive and includes preventive and necessary medical treatments and services, as well as dental and vision care. When children are accepted into the program with pre-existing conditions, they can seek treatment for these conditions as soon as coverage becomes active with no waiting periods.
Some of the most common treatments sought while using WY CHIP insurance coverage include:
- Wellness checkups.
- Hospital visits.
- Teeth cleanings.
- Eye exams.
Children enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can also receive prescription drugs for free or with very low copayments. To utilize the coverage, treatments and services can only be sought through medical, dental and vision health providers that accept this type of insurance.
How much is CHIP health insurance in Wyoming?
To locate participating medical providers, beneficiaries can call the Wyoming CHIP number to speak with a representative about covered services. There are no monthly premiums charged through the program. However, in some cases, program enrollees may be responsible for paying low copayments or a percentage of the services they request. For example, if a child obtains contact lenses, her or his parent may be responsible for paying for a portions of the price of the lenses. Program beneficiaries should thoroughly review their CHIP coverage before seeking treatment to ensure they know about their financial responsibilities.
How long do CHIP benefits last in Wyoming?
The Wyoming CHIP program provides coverage for an approved applicant for one year. At that time, the parent or guardian can decide to attempt to renew coverage. However, for a successful renewal, the child must still meet all eligibility guidelines for the program. The parent or guardian may be asked to provide documentation proving income and other eligibility criteria. If a child obtains medical coverage elsewhere, he or she no longer qualifies for the Kids Care CHIP program.
To learn more about how these benefits and services covered, download our comprehensive guide.