Medicaid and CHIP – Children’s Health Coverage Basics
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offer free or low-cost health coverage for eligible children and other family members.
These programs may be called by different names in your state.
Families and individuals can apply online, by phone, by mail or in person. Go to Learn About Programs in Your State or call 1-877 KIDS NOW (1-877-543-7669) or you can submit an application through HealthCare.gov.
Who may be eligible?
Medicaid and CHIP cover:
- Children and teens up to age 19
- Young people up to 21 may be covered under Medicaid
- Youth who have “aged out” of foster care can be covered under Medicaid until they reach age 26
Medicaid also covers:
- Pregnant women
- People with disabilities
- In states that have expanded Medicaid, more adults may be eligible than ever before, whether or not they are raising children
U.S. citizens and certain lawfully present immigrants may be eligible.
Children may be eligible based on their family income. How much income can a family have?
Eligibility depends on your income, the number of people in your family and the rules in your state. In almost every state, children in families with income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($47,700 per year for a family of four) are covered. In more than half the states, the income eligibility for children can be even higher.
What health benefits can children get?
Eligible children and teens can get:
- Regular check-ups
- Doctor and dentist visits
- Vision care
- Hospital care
- Mental health services
- Needed medications and more
What about cost?
Medicaid and CHIP are available for free or at low-cost. Depending on family income and the rules in your state, some families may pay low premiums and cost-sharing for some services. Preventive services for children are available at no cost.