There are currently over 7 million uninsured children in the United States. The vast majority of uninsured children (88%) come from families where at least one parent is working. In these situations, the parents often can't afford health insurance, and do not qualify for Medicaid or other programs because they are working.
These families are caught in a trap. They are trying to provide for their families by working, but because they are employed in low earning jobs, they cannot afford health insurance. At the same time, because they actually have a job, they are not allowed to participate in programs to provide insurance for children. To help address this situation, the federal government has developed the Children's Health Insurance Program.The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a federally funded program operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The program is designed to provide health insurance for children whose families cannot afford health insurance on their own, but who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid or other government assistance programs.
Although the CHIP program is funded by the federal government, the program is managed at the state level and each state has different rules and regulations about how to qualify for the program. In general, most families can qualify if they do not have health insurance for their children, and they make less than $44,000 per year (for a family of four). In many states, children who live with their grandparents or another legal guardian are also eligible for the program.
The CHIP program covers doctor visits, immunizations, hospitalization, prescription medication, dental care, emergency room visits, and other medical services for little or no cost. You can go to the CHIP web site at Insure Kids Now to get more information about the program.
You can also call 1-877 KIDS NOW (1-877-543-7669) to talk with someone about the program. The call is free and completely confidential. When you call, you will be connected with a representative who can tell you about the program and discuss the options available for your specific state.