Children are a top priority when it comes to health care and health insurance. In fact, many parents will forgo health insurance for themselves and opt to only have their children covered under a health insurance policy. Unfortunately, it may not be a simple choice of who gets insurance in the family. The choice may come down to a financial issue. In these cases, there are several options for families that are available through the state. The following are a few of the state health insurance coverage options for children and how you may apply.
Medicaid is the prime option for families with low or no income. This program will cover the child during the prenatal stages and after birth. During prenatal, the mother and baby are covered. Following birth the baby is the only one covered after 60 days. This form of state and government based health insurance offers several benefits for families. Doctor visits, well baby check-ups, vaccinations, emergency care, hospitalization, dental, vision and hearing are all covered on this type of health insurance. There are some disadvantages that parents should be aware of. These disadvantages include the level of care options available. For some families, it may be difficult to find a doctor that accepts Medicaid.
Some physicians that accept Medicaid may be through clinics or may be a larger driving distance than a doctor who accepts standard medical insurance. The truth of the matter is when families need insurance coverage, this is a prime option that will keep their children healthy. Families will not have to worry about vaccinations, extra costs or unexpected illness coverage.
CHIP or Children’s Health Insurance Programs, vary from state to state. These programs are for low income families with an income cap placed at $44,000 a year for a family of four. This form of coverage will cover children from birth until the age of 19. CHIP programs are structured based on the state guidelines. For some states, this means coverage of only certain health issues. However, in other states all forms of health issues are covered with only certain restrictions or higher long term fee costs. Examples of CHIP programs are Florida KidCare and AlaKids of Alabama.
How to Apply
The application process for state health insurance coverage for children can be very easy if you know the process. For Medicaid, a parent would need to contact their local Medicaid office or health clinic. In fact, many county health clinics will have an office for WIC and for Medicaid. Parents can apply directly at the office and see a case worker within a matter of days. The application will be wither approved or denied based on income. This means a family would need to provide income information for every member of the household. In some cases other information is necessary and applicants would be informed at the time of the application.
If a family is applying for a CHIP program the process is also fairly easy. You can contact the CHIP program for your state by calling 1-877-543-7669. This will connect you with your state office and the application process can begin over the phone. The application will be partially handled over the phone with the remainder handled online, at a local office or through the mail.