DEFINITION of 'Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)'

A medical coverage source for individuals under age 19 whose parents earn too much income to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to pay for private coverage. Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage varies from state to state, but all states’ CHIP plans cover routine check-ups, immunizations, doctor visits, prescriptions, dental care, vision care, hospital care, laboratory services, X-rays and emergency services. Some states also cover parents and pregnant women.

BREAKING DOWN 'Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)'

The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a U.S. federal program implemented in 1997 and administered by the states. Each state names its own program; for example, New York’s is called “Child Health Plus.” The federal government matches funding the states provide, similar to Medicaid. A 2009 program update also made federal funds available to help locate and enroll eligible children not currently served by the program. Many parents whose children would qualify have not applied because they think the enrollment process will be difficult or they won't qualify financially.

In most states, a family of four earning up to $45,000 a year will qualify for CHIP; the limit is higher in some states. It is necessary to apply and be accepted into CHIP to receive coverage. In some cases, children will qualify for children’s Medicaid rather than CHIP. Any adult who lives more than half the time with the child may apply on the child’s behalf.

While some medical services, such as regular check-ups, are free under CHIP, others require a co-payment. In addition, members must pay a monthly premium in some states. However, the premium can’t exceed 5% of annual household income. Enrollment fees and co-pays, if any, may be based on ability to pay.

CHIP helps parents whose employers don’t provide health coverage to obtain coverage for their children. The program makes it more likely that children have a doctor regularly watching over their health.

  1. Minimum Essential Coverage

    The type of health insurance policy an individual needs to meet ...
  2. State Medicaid Program

    Health initiatives managed by state governments in conjunction ...
  3. Medicaid

    Medicaid is a government-sponsored insurance program for individuals ...
  4. Health Insurance Marketplace

    Organizations that facilitate structured and competitive markets ...
  5. First Dollar Coverage

    First dollar coverage is a policy with zero deductible. However, ...
  6. Medical Payments Coverage

    A feature of an auto insurance policy that covers expenses related ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Medicaid vs. CHIP: Understanding the Differences

    Medicaid and CHIP are both designed to provide low-income children with health care coverage. Find out about the differences between the two programs.
  2. Insurance

    Cutting Your Cost for Marketplace Health Insurance

    Here's how you may be able to lower your costs for health insurance coverage in 2016 though the Health Insurance Markerplace.
  3. Insurance

    7 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Health Insurance

    Understand the need for health insurance and why some undervalue the need for coverage. Learn about the top seven mistakes to avoid when purchasing insurance.
  4. Retirement

    Is Your Health Insurance Enough For Retirement?

    Learn what to expect to pay for health insurance in retirement, what is covered through Medicare and what the Affordable Care Act means for retirees.
  5. Insurance

    6 Alternatives To Health Insurance

    Not having health insurance doesn't mean that you have no alternatives. Here's what you can do to reduce your healthcare costs.
  6. Insurance

    Essential Health Benefits Under The Affordable Care Act

    Under the Affordable Care Act, certain preventive health services and these 10 essential health benefits are the minimum requirements for many health insurance plans.
  7. Insurance

    4 Ways to Find Good Health Insurance

    Follow these 4 steps to get the best coverage at the most affordable price.
  8. Insurance

    Medicaid Vs. Long-Term Care Insurance

    These are not equal. Here's why you need to think twice before relying on the government-sponsored program.
  1. Are Social Security survivor benefits for children considered taxable income?

    Learn why receiving Social Security survivor benefits on behalf of children does not affect income tax for a surviving parent ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Perfect Competition

    Pure or perfect competition is a theoretical market structure in which a number of criteria such as perfect information and ...
  2. Compound Interest

    Compound Interest is interest calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest of previous periods ...
  3. Income Statement

    A financial statement that measures a company's financial performance over a specific accounting period. Financial performance ...
  4. Leverage Ratio

    A leverage ratio is any one of several financial measurements that look at how much capital comes in the form of debt, or ...
  5. Annuity

    An annuity is a financial product that pays out a fixed stream of payments to an individual, primarily used as an income ...
  6. Restricted Stock Unit - RSU

    A restricted stock unit is a compensation issued by an employer to an employee in the form of company stock.
Trading Center