How to Find Affordable Health Care
About 8 million children in the United States don't have health insurance. If your kids are among them because you can't afford coverage or your employer-sponsored plan doesn't pay for everything, don't despair. Programs are available that provide affordable — even free — medical care and are designed to meet or supplement a person's medical insurance needs.
Right now, your kids could be eligible for coverage and you might not even know it. Here are some options that may be available to your family right in your own community.
Enroll Your Child in a Public Program
Two public programs work together in every state to provide health coverage for children in low- and middle-income families: Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Medicaid is run by states with a mix of state and federal funding. It offers health coverage for those with limited incomes, including children and parents, pregnant women, those with disabilities, and seniors. And kids might be eligible for coverage if they're U.S. citizens or lawfully admitted immigrants, even if their parents are not.
CHIP is a program funded by the federal government that each state administers. It provides health coverage for American kids under age 19 in working families who qualify based on their parents' income. CHIP is often helpful for families with incomes too high for Medicaid, but who are still uninsured.
Each state has different CHIP rules. Some CHIP programs, for example, cover pregnant women as well as parents and related caregivers (such as grandparents raising their grandchildren). Each state has its own name for its CHIP and children's Medicaid programs, too (for instance, the CHIP program in Delaware is called Delaware Healthy Children Program; in Connecticut, it's called the Husky Plan).
To learn about your state's CHIP and Medicaid programs and other services available to your family, visit the U.S. Government's comprehensive health care website (www.healthcare.gov). There, you can apply for CHIP or Medicaid online. You can also call 1-877-KIDS NOW (1-877-543-7669) to find out about the CHIP program in your state.
A child's eligibility for these government programs is based on household income. Once your child is enrolled, you'll receive a list of medical providers near you who accept CHIP/Medicaid patients. You can then make appointments with those providers any time your child needs to see a doctor and also be covered in case of an emergency.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2009 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.
Add your own comment
Today on Education.com
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Bullying in Schools
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working
- Should Your Child Be Held Back a Grade? Know Your Rights
- First Grade Sight Words List