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Your child’s health is your top priority, so having access to low-cost health insurance for children is important to ensure they stay strong, happy, and healthy. 

But what kind of insurance do your children need? And how do you get it? HealthMarkets explains options for low-cost health insurance for children.

Eligibility Requirements for Low-Cost Health Insurance for Children

One of the more prominent options for low-cost health insurance for children is the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Each state runs its own program alongside its Medicaid program. Rules and benefits vary from state to state, but eligibility requirements are similar.

As long as your child is younger than 19 years old and a U.S. citizen, their eligibility requirements are generally based on family income relative to the family’s size. In most states, an annual family income of up to $50,000 (for a family of four) will qualify a child for CHIP.

The following items are considered for income:
  • Wages
  • Self-employment funds
  • Unemployment
  • Veterans Administration benefits
  • Social Security benefits
  • Child support
  • Alimony

Do Children Get Free Health Insurance with CHIP?

Some children can receive no-cost health insurance through the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The cost depends on your family’s annual income and size, as well as the requirements for the state you live in. Some of the services provided include regular check-ups, immunizations, doctor and dentist visits, hospital care, mental health services, and prescriptions.To apply for the CHIP program, visit healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/childrens-health-insurance-program or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).

Other Low-Cost Children's Health Insurance Options

If your family makes too much to qualify for Medicaid and/or CHIP, you still have options for low-cost children’s health insurance, including policies through the Affordable Care Act and short-term health insurance.
  • Affordable Care Act PlansMore than 87% of people who enroll in plans under the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) qualify for tax subsidies that help lower their premiums. The average premium for a subsidized ACA plan in 2019 was $143 per month. With hundreds of plans to choose from, HealthMarkets FitScore™ can help you find the right plan for your family in minutes.
  • Short-Term Health Insurance. Short-term coverage is less comprehensive than ACA plans, and eligibility can depend on whether your child has a pre-existing condition. But premium costs are typically much lower than unsubsidized ACA plans. In most states, you can apply for this coverage for up to 36 months. 

Get the Right Health Coverage for Your Child

HealthMarkets offers free council on the right health insurance plan for your child. We can help you quickly find an individual plan and compare quotes online. If an Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan isn’t for you, we can help you find coverage from available options—even if it’s a plan we don’t offer. Call us any time at (800) 360-1402.


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References:
https://www.insurekidsnow.gov/find-coverage-your-family/frequently-asked-questions/index.html#childEligible | https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/effectuated-marketplace-enrollment-and-financial-assistance/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D | https://www.kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/marketplace-average-premiums-and-average-advanced-premium-tax-credit-aptc/?currentTimeframe=1&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D

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