Enrolling for CHIP

If you’re in search of health coverage options for your children and you’re considering enrolling for CHIP, keep reading to learn about what the program is all about and what the enrollment process involves.

We’ve written this article to give information on the major areas you need to know about CHIP based on our first hand experience in applying for CHIP during this uncertain year. 

What is CHIP?

CHIP stands for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and is an initiative funded by both the federal and state government to provide low-cost health coverage for children whose parents earn too much to qualify for other medical assistance programs such as Medicaid, but not enough to afford private coverage.

Most often, CHIP also covers pregnant women with low-income.

Eligibility Requirements for CHIP

The eligibility requirements for CHIP differ across all states, but generally, the program is open to only low-income pregnant women and children under the age of 19. Income eligibility is determined based on the modified adjusted gross income of the family.

Families with children that fall within 170 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level are usually qualified.

In addition to meeting the income requirements, a child must be

  • Under 19 years of age

  • Uninsured

  • A citizen or legal immigrant

  • A resident of the state

Children who are inmates or patients of a public or mental institution, or are qualified for state health benefits owing to a family member’s employment, do not qualify for CHIP.

How to Enroll for CHIP

CHIP enrollment can be carried out in two ways. The quickest way is to find a CHIP program in your state then contact them for your application.

Applications can be done online, by phone, or by mail. Another fast way is to fill out an application on the Health Insurance Marketplace, through which your application will be forwarded to your state’s CHIP agency if you qualify.

Understanding the CHIP Application

Application for CHIP can be made at any time during the year, and it usually takes between 4-6 weeks to get approved. Once approved, you can expect your first payment at the beginning of the following month.

To know the position of your application, you can reach out to the CHIP health insurance company you sent your application to.

The medical coverage of CHIP can slightly differ from state to state. Eligibility requirements and enrolment process can also vary between states. Before enrolling for CHIP, ensure you take your time to learn about the CHIP programs in your state.


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