|Parents And Guardians - Are You Aware Articles
Niki Smidt

February 8, 2011

More than 7 million children were without health insurance on any given day in 2008, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of these children, 4.7 million were eligible for either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but were not enrolled.  As a result, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education have issued a challenge to enroll 5 million children in either program within the next five years.

Here’s a summary of each program:

Medicaid.  This is a jointly-funded federal-state partnership that is administered by the states. Medicaid provides health care coverage to certain low-income individuals and families. Whether you qualify for Medicaid may depend on your age; whether you are  pregnant, disabled, or blind; your income and resources; and whether you are  a U.S. citizen. Children may be eligible for Medicaid even if a parent is not. Each state has a unique set of eligibility rules and benefits.

For more information on Medicaid, go to https://www.cms.gov/home/medicaid.asp

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This program is a state and federal partnership that provides low-cost health insurance coverage for children in families who earn too much income to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford to purchase private health insurance coverage. States have considerable flexibility to establish income eligibility rules for CHIP, but children enrolling in the program must be otherwise uninsured.

Within federal guidelines, each state determines the design of its individual CHIP program, including eligibility parameters, benefit packages, payment levels for coverage, and administrative procedures.

For more information on CHIP, go to: https://www.cms.gov/home/chip.asp.

Additional resources:

Insure Kids Now
http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/state/index.html

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release:
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/09/20100903a.html

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