Most healthcare insurance plans for kids in the United States have high deductibles and limited benefits. Furthermore, health insurance in the United States covers a limited amount of kids. However, there are some health care programs that provide affordable and often free health care for your kids if you can’t afford adequate coverage or if your employer-sponsored coverage doesn’t cover your kids.

It is quite unfortunate that many Americans are unaware that their kids are eligible for health care coverage. If your family falls in the low or middle-income bracket then you’re eligible for two plans i.e. Medicaid and Children’s health insurance plan (CHIP).

Understanding Medicaid and CHIP

Funded by the federal government, CHIP is administered by each state. If your income qualifies them for it, your kids under the age of 19 will be eligible for health coverage under CHIP. The CHIP program is meant for you if you’re ineligible for Medicaid but still have problems affording health insurance.

Medicaid too is funded by the federal government and the state. It provides health coverage to people such as senior citizens, disabled individuals, pregnant women, dependent parents, and children.

Eligibility criteria for CHIP

The income of their parents is what makes kids eligible for children’s health insurance plan (CHIP) coverage. Once you enroll your kid into the program, they will be referred to the most appropriate program after being evaluated. Through this program, kids get ‘decent’ insurance for ‘little’ money. This is the reason it’s called the “No Wrong Door” program.

The following may be covered by CHIP and Medicaid:

  • Kids and teenagers aged 19 or under

  • Youth who have “aged out” of foster care can use Medicaid till they are 26

  • Young people under 21 are covered by Medicaid

Why use CHIP

26 free preventative health services are what CHIP will make your kids eligible for. This includes:

  • Free iron supplements for infants aged between 6 and 12 months

  • Screening for depression and autism

  • Vaccinations

  • Obesity counseling and screening

Apart from the aforementioned preventive services, other essential services are also available. This includes:

  • Newborn care

  • Emergency services

  • Pediatric care

What does CHIP cost?

If your kids are eligible for it, there is a chance that CHIP will cost you nothing. However, under some circumstances, you may have to pay a small amount for CHIP. Coverage under CHIP will be free for you if you have at least four people in your family and earn an amount equal to or less than $41,700. Furthermore, if your income is between $41,800 and $70,650 then you’ll have to pay a small amount. However, you’ll have to pay the full cost of insurance if you earn more than $70,650.

You can get a low cost or free health care coverage for your kids under Medicaid or CHIP if you fall in the low or middle income bracket. Furthermore, there are other kids’ health insurances that many health care providers accept. Make sure you contact your health care provider or check their website to find out about the insurance plans they accept.