If your children need health coverage, they may be eligible for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If they qualify, you won't have to buy an insurance plan to cover them.
CHIP provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid. In some states, CHIP covers pregnant women. Each state offers CHIP coverage, and works closely with its state Medicaid program.
Each state program has its own rules about who qualifies for CHIP. You can apply right now, any time of year, and find out if you qualify. If you apply for Medicaid coverage to your state agency, you’ll also find out if your children qualify for CHIP.
FYI: Apply any time
You can apply for and enroll in Medicaid or CHIP any time of year. There’s no limited enrollment period for either Medicaid or CHIP. If you qualify, your coverage can start immediately.
CHIP benefits are different in each state. But all states provide comprehensive coverage, including:
States may provide more CHIP benefits. Check with your state for information about covered services.
Routine "well child" doctor and dental visits are free under CHIP. But there may be copayments for other services. Some states charge a monthly premium for CHIP coverage. The costs are different in each state, but you won’t have to pay more than 5% of your family's income for the year.
If your children are eligible for CHIP, they won't be eligible for any savings on Marketplace insurance. CHIP coverage will probably be more affordable. Remember, you and other family members may be eligible for savings on Marketplace insurance coverage.
You may be able to get an insurance plan through the Marketplace, with savings based on your income.