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 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.
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 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.
Each state program has its own rules about who qualifies for CHIP. There are 2 ways to see if your children qualify:
If your children are eligible for CHIP, they would not be eligible for any cost breaks on Marketplace insurance. It would likely be more affordable to cover your children through CHIP. Remember, you and other family members may be eligible for savings on Marketplace coverage.
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.