Children’s Health Insurance Program – Definition

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Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Definition

The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a medical program which provides health care to persons under the age of 19 years. This cover is meant for families whose earnings qualify them for Medicaid, however, cannot cover private costs.

CHIP was passed in 1997 by the Congress under Clinton’s administration. 36% of children in the United States are covered by both CHIP and Medicaid. Also, covered are special needs children from rural communities as well as from working families.

A Little More on What is a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Generally, each state offers its citizen with CHIP coverage. The states also work with the Medicaid program to ensure that the citizens receive proper health care. The United States Department of Health and Human Services is the one that administers CHIP. It gives matching funds to states so that they can provide health insurance to families with children.

CHIP is currently providing medical coverage to around 9 million children, and it has a different name depending on the individual state. For instance, the state of New York refers to the CHIP program as Child Care Plus. In Arkansas State, the program is known as ARKids. According to CHIP policies, a family of four with an annual earning of up to $45,000 does qualify for CHIP. However, the income limit varies from one state to the other.

In most cases, many families are not able to get their children’s health insurance coverage through employers. Such families are required to get a CHIP cover for their children. However, some children may sometime qualify for Medicaid instead of CHIP.

 A Little History about the Children’s Health Insurance Program

CHIP was created after President Bill Clinton’s comprehensive health care reform failed to pass. CHIP was then created by Ted Kennedy a Democrat Senator and Orrin Hatch a Republican Senator.

The legislation was strongly supported by the First Lady Hillary Clinton. This led to the inclusion of CHIP in the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, which was then signed into law by President Clinton.

 What a does CHIP Cover?

CHIP benefits vary depending on the individual state. However, there is comprehensive coverage which cuts across all the states. Families under the CHIP program stand to benefit from the following:

  • Child immunization services
  • Routine checkups
  • Dental and eye care
  • Doctor visit
  • Prescriptions
  • Emergency services
  • X-ray and laboratory services

Outpatient and inpatient hospital care services

Note that services such as dental visits and “well-child” routine checkup services are provided for free under CHIP program. CHIP coverage in some states covers pregnant women.

Nonetheless, there are co-payments that apply for other health care services. The charges for co-payments do vary from one state to the other. However, the cost across the states is usually not more than 5 percent of the family’s annual income. For instance, some states have a premium CHIP cover charged monthly.

Generally, CHIP coverage can be applied at any time of the year, and families can benefit from the cover almost immediately. Families that qualify for Medicaid are also free to apply for CHIP for their children. This way, they are able to benefit from both the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and CHIP.

 How important is CHIP?

There is a link between children’s health care, school performance as well as their future success. When it comes to the well-being of children, unhealthy children are vulnerable to problems related to schooling.

Children under CHIP cover, have access to quality health care. This way they are able to perform well in school and focus on building a successful future. So, when you invest in CHIP, you are not only investing in your children’s health but also securing them a successful life.

 The Bottom Line

Generally, Congress has been able to pass a number of health care acts over the years. The last one to be enacted was ACA which was made mandatory. After being enacted, many politicians, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌officials‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌health‌ ‌sector, it would be a good substitute for CHIP.

Instead, the country ended up having several of them; CHIP Medicaid, and CHIP. This has brought confusion among the families when it comes to choosing the best health program for their children. Also, there is no consistency when it comes to co-payments and the benefits of those health programs.

Reference for “Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)”

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