Can you get health insurance just for your child?
Need health insurance just for your child? If you have health insurance already, here’s the good news. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, any child of yours can be covered on your health plan up until they turn 26 years old. To learn more, grab our free step-by-step guide to enrolling in Marketplace health insurance here.
Uninsured but want to get health coverage for your child? You have a few options.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The first is the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the federal program that allows each state to administer a health insurance program for low-income, uninsured children up to the age of 19. CHIP provides comprehensive healthcare for children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid. CHIP eligibility varies by state. However, it typically covers children in households that earn up to at least 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). That is $49,200 for a family of four.
All “well child” preventive care services are covered at no cost under CHIP health care. Additionally, CHIP also covers routine check-ups, vaccines, prescriptions, dental, vision, hospital care and emergency care. Remember that CHIP does not renew automatically each year. So, you’ll need to be sure to complete the annual renewal to keep your child enrolled.
You and your family might also qualify for Medicaid, which provides no- or low-cost care to low-income Americans. . Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal government and the states to provide health insurance coverage to low-income Americans. Eligibility is primarily determined based on income level. But there are other means of eligibility for adults, the elderly, and children with disabilities. There is also eligibility for pregnant women. One in four children in the U.S. is insured through Medicaid.
You can learn more about eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP and how to apply through HealthSherpa. And the HealthSherpa Consumer Advocate Team is also on hand to help you through the application by calling (872) 228-2549.
There are also child-only plans available through the Marketplace that you can review and shop during Open Enrollment. Depending on your income-level, you may qualify for significant cost-savings for these plans too. Because of the Affordable Care Act, there is a guaranteed level of coverage in Marketplace plans. These plans cover preventive care (including immunizations), pre-existing conditions, and more. And the subsidies can make them low-cost for income-eligible families.
You can compare prices and shop for a Marketplace plan here, or put in your zip code below.
Keep in mind that if your child has access to non-Marketplace, employer-sponsored coverage, you won’t be eligible for any subsidies for these child-only Obamacare plans.
There are also non-Marketplace, privately offered child-only health insurance plans. But these plans do not offer the same level of coverage as those plans on the Marketplace.
Shopping the Health Insurance Marketplace during Open Enrollment will allow you to see your coverage options, and potential cost savings. And this is true for both you and any dependents. Also don’t forget that you can apply for Medicaid or CHIP anytime, even outside of Open Enrollment. You can even begin an application right now through the Marketplace or HealthSherpa.