What Parents and Guardians Need to Know About CHIP
Children covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) are eligible for 5 essential services. CHIP is offered 365 days a year. Eligibility is based on family size, age of children, and income. See if your family qualifies today by contacting your state Medicaid department.[cite]AS GOP Tarries On Health Bill, Funding for Children’s Health Languishes[/cite] As of late October, it has not been funded for 2018.
TIP: Parents covered under CHIP are covered under the Medicaid program. In some cases parents and children will qualify for CHIP based on income and family size, in other cases just the children will qualify.
Eligibility For CHIP
Specifics can differ by state, but in general:
- CHIP is offered 365 days a year.
- Eligibility is based on family size, age of children, and income.
- Often families making under 200% of the poverty level will find their children qualify for CHIP (in some states the cut-off is higher).
- Age can make a big difference in most cases, the younger the child, the higher the income threshold.
- Some states offer CHIP to unborn children.
With that noted, since specifics differ by state, your best bet for finding out if your family qualifies is contacting your state Medicaid department.
5 Essential Services Covered by CHIP
Bellow is a list of essential health services, as defined by the ACA, that are covered at little to no cost under CHIP.
- Pediatric Physical Exam. This year it is particularly important to make sure your children get their physical exams and any scheduled vaccinations or bloodwork to check for anemia or heavy metal exposure such as lead exposure, if required. Routine physicals are often performed in the summer as many schools and camps require them. Please try not to delay.
- Pediatric Dental Exam. This year it is particularly important to make sure that children not only get physical exams, but also have dental exams and take care of any problems discovered. Dental issues such as abscesses need timely care.
- Pediatric Vision Exam. Poor vision can make it very hard for a child to manage in school or anywhere else. It’s a good idea to have vision checked from time to time. Children are unlikely to tell you they have trouble because they can’t tell you what they don’t see.
- Screening Services. Children are entitled to be screened for low hearing, autism and obesity as well as counseling for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and substance abuse.
- Emergency Services. CHIP covers children’s emergency services. Please do not hesitate to have a child examined in an emergency.
CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) has been one of the most successful parts of the ACA. To learn more about the Medicaid/CHIP program of health insurance for children, please read CHIP.[cite]CHIP[/cite]