There are over 7 million children in the United States who do not have health insurance. Whether dual income families, or single parents, many families just cannot afford private health insurance, and their children’s health suffers because of it. Families in this situation usually seek medical care only in an emergency, and do not get the preventative care that healthy American children require. If you, or someone you know, cannot afford health insurance, there are many social service agencies at both the federal and state level that may be able to assist you.
The federal government sponsors a Medicaid program, co-funded with each state, to offer medical care and assistance to individuals within the region, Usually children, pregnant women, disabled citizens, blind citizens and those over the age of 65 are eligible for Medicaid. A state’s Department of Public Aid, or a similar department, run the Medicaid program, so check with Public Aid to determine if you or your child is eligible for support.
An insurance program specific to children was organized in 1997 when Congress enacted the CHIP, Children’s Health Insurance Program, to help reduce the number of uninsured children in the U.S. Congress ruled that each state had a three-year grace period to organize their state’s CHIP, known as a State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and at this time, each state has a SCHIP, or similar program, in place.
Though each SCHIP has it’s own rules regarding eligibility, the main qualifications are: child is not eligible for Medicaid; child under the age of 19 (20 in some states); and family makes no more than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Information regarding you state’s SCHIP may be found online or via your state’s Department of Public Aid.
If you do not have health insurance for your child, please do not hesitate to get help by finding out more information at the SCHIP home page or get an children’s health insurance plan from QOOQe.com to price out some options for you and your children.