Medicaid & CHIP

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

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 a Marketplace plan to cover them.

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 Basics

CHIP provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid. In some states, CHIP covers parents and pregnant women. Each state offers CHIP coverage, and works closely with its state Medicaid program.

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

States may provide more CHIP benefits. Check with your state for information about covered services.

What CHIP costs

Routine "well child" doctor and dental visits are free of charge 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.

See if your children qualify for CHIP

Each state program has its own rules about who qualifies for CHIP. There are 2 ways to see if your children qualify:

  • Visit and select your state. Or call 1-877-543-7669.
  • Fill out the Marketplace application. We'll tell you which programs you and your family qualify for. If it looks like anyone is eligible for CHIP, we'll let your state CHIP agency know so your coverage can start right away.

More answers

What if my children are eligible for CHIP, but I would rather buy a Marketplace plan?

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 coverage.

If my children can get CHIP but I don't qualify for Medicaid, how can I get insured?

You may be able to get coverage through the Marketplace and get lower costs on your monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs. This will depend on your income and household size. Fill out the Marketplace application and we'll tell you which programs you and your family qualify for, including private insurance and any cost savings. You can apply even if some family members already have health coverage.