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Health Insurance for Uninsured Children: The SCHIP Program


The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, makes funds available to states that have in place federally approved programs providing health insurance coverage to uninsured children. This program gives each state permission to offer health insurance for children, up to age 19, who are not already insured. SCHIP is a state administered program and each state sets its own guidelines regarding eligibility and services.

Amounts of SCHIP funds receive annually is determined according to a formula based on the number of uninsured, low-income children in the state and a geographic health care cost factor. Participating states use most of their SCHIP funding to provide health insurance to uninsured children who could not otherwise be covered under the state's plan alone.

Families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid may be able to qualify for SCHIP. Families that do not currently have health insurance are likely to be eligible, even if you are working. The states have different eligibility rules, but in most states, uninsured children under the age of 19, whose families earn up to about $36,200 a year (for a family of four) are eligible. For little or no cost, this insurance pays for:

  • doctor visits
  • immunizations
  • hospitalizations
  • emergency room visits

    For SCHIP contact information for your state, visit: State SCHIP Programs

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