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Understanding CHIP

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost insurance converge to children in families who earn too much money to qualify for state Medicaid. If your child(ren) are eligible for CHIP, you do not have to purchase an insurance plan to cover them. Each state has its own rules and guidelines, but the CHIP program works closely with the state’s Medicaid program.

The funding for the program expired on September 30 and in recent actions by Congress, short-term funding for CHIP will again expire at the end of January. A new budget was proposed last week.

“The Congressional Budget Office says a Senate bill adding five years of financing to the program would cost $800 million. Previously, the analysts estimated it would cost $8.2 billion.” –Associated Press

What CHIP covers.

CHIP benefits are different in each state. But all states provide comprehensive coverage, including:

  • Routine check-ups
  • Immunizations
  • Doctor visits
  • Prescriptions
  • Dental and vision care
  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital care
  • Laboratory and X-ray services
  • Emergency services

There is no cost for routine ‘well-child’ doctor and dental visits under CHIP. However, there may be co-payments for other services. In addition, some states charge a monthly premium for CHIP coverage but you will never pay more than 5% of your families’ yearly income.