CHIP health insurance has varying eligibility requirements in each U.S. state. If CHIP is a federally facilitated health insurance program for kids, why is eligibility different in each state? Similar to the Medicaid program, CHIP is indeed funded by the U.S. federal government. Also similar to Medicaid, funds for the CHIP program are distributed to each state and disbursed from within based on need as determined by regionally collected data.
For example, certain areas of each state are more affluent, while others experience more financial hardship. Certain states are also more affluent overall than other states in the nation as well. The federal government provides the CHIP funds and allows each state to determine eligibility requirements based on needs within state borders.
This creates a fairer system by preventing the eligibility requirements for more affluent states from influencing those in states more prone to financial hardship.
Affordable health insurance for children is necessary for families of all income levels. Most commonly, families of four cumulatively earning approximately $45,000 per year or less are eligible for CHIP. This income limit, however, does vary with each state and program. This is because each state offers its own version of the CHIP program.
Furthermore, some states and their specific programs also extend CHIP benefits to pregnant women and parents under limited qualifying conditions.
Eligibility for CHIP expires automatically after twelve months, unless it is renewed by the enrolled household every year. It is possible for eligibility to expire prior to the designated twelve-month period if a covered child turns nineteen during any coverage period.
It is also possible for eligibility to change mid-coverage if your household income increases above maximum limits as allowed by your state prior to the twelve months expiring. CHIP healthcare programs send out renewal notices to enrolled households ninety days in advance of coverage expiration dates.
Next, learn how to apply for CHIP.