Protecting the Health of Your Children

The Children’s Health Insurance Program provides children with health insurance coverage. It was signed into law in 1997 by way of the Balanced Budget Act. It was created for children in families with incomes too high for Medicaid but do not receive private health insurance coverage. The creation stemmed from the millions of children that were without health insurance in 1997. With CHIP installed in every state, all families could seek coverage for their children.

Eligibility varies depending on the state. Determination for eligibility is done by assessing the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). This income assessment determines the family’s financial eligibility for CHIP. In some states, pregnant women are eligible. 2018 Medicaid statistics report that over 9.6 million children have been enrolled in CHIP.

According to the Medicaid website, the following list determines eligibility:

  • Under 19 years of age
  • Uninsured
  • A citizen or meets immigration requirements
  • A resident of the state and,
  • Eligible within the states CHIP income range, based on family income, and any other state specified rules in the CHIP state plan

Benefits can vary by state. For the state of Maryland, the benefits included are:

  • Doctors’ visits
  • Dental care
  • Vision care
  • Prescription medicine
  • Immunization
  • Hospital Care
  • Lab work and test
  • Mental health wellness
  • Transportation to appointments
  • Substance abuse treatment

To apply for coverage, you can call 1-800-318-2596 or fill out an application Health Insurance Market Place on  

This blog written by Family and Consumer Sciences student intern Ashante Scott.

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