39 Percent of Eligible Uninsured Children Live in 3 States: California, Texas, and Florida.
Five million children in the United States are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program but we are not enrolled in either plan.
An estimated 7.3 million children were uninsured on an average day in 2008 and 65 percent of them were eligible for Medicaid of CHIP coverage, the report said.
Thirty-nine percent of eligible uninsured children live in just three states — California, Texas and Florida, the report by the Washington-based Urban Institute Health Policy Center said. It added that more than half of the nation’s children live in these states.
It is important that children receive the proper medical care. No child should have to forego medical treatment because their parents inability to afford health insurance.
It is especially important that parents who qualify use the Texas Medicaid or CHIP program because many insurance companies are no longer offering child only policies.
With the advent of guaranteed issue health insurance for all children as of September 23, 2010, many national health insurance companies have responded by discontinuing their child only policies. So Texas Medicaid or CHIP might be the only resource for those families who cannot afford or get health insurance for their children.
Medicaid is the joint state-federal health plan for the poor, disabled and elderly. CHIP provides low-cost coverage for children in families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance coverage.
I have a client who is a parent of a child with disabilities. She had Major Medical health insurance through a national carrier. Her deductible was $5,000 and many of the tests and procedures that were necessary were subject to her deductible. So she was paying out of pocket for them. She called me to let me know that she was switching to CHIP because the benefits were better and less costly for her. I told her to go for it because that was what was best for her child.
To qualify for CHIP or Children’s Medicaid, a child must be age 18 or younger, a Texas resident and a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. The citizenship or immigration status of the parent does not affect the children’s eligibility and is not reported on the application form.
Who Can Apply?
Any adult who lives with an uninsured child and provides care for that child can apply. This includes parents, step parents, grandparents, other relatives, legal guardians or adult brothers or sisters.
What Does It Cover?
CHIP and Children’s Medicaid both offer a lot of benefits:
- Choice of doctors
- Regular checkup and office visits
- Dentist visits, cleaning and fillings
- Prescription drugs and medical supplies
- Access to medical specialists
- Hospital care and services
- X-rays and lab tests
- Mental health care
- Treatment of special health needs
- Treatment of pre-existing conditions
- Eye exams and glasses
Texas CHIP Website: http://www.chipmedicaid.com/english/index.htm
Texas Medicaid Website: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/help/index.html
Calling 2-1-1 is a free, easy way to find out about services you can get. You can find services in your area or through state programs.
When you call 2-1-1, you pick a language and then pick from 3 options:
||to learn about services in your area, such as:
- Child care
- After-school programs
- Senior services
- Help after a disaster
- Tax help
Staff can talk with you anytime you call – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
||to learn about state benefits, such as:
- SNAP food benefits (used to be called food stamps)
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Cash help for families (TANF)