A child’s illness can put a great burden on a family, particularly if he or she is not covered under your group health policy. But there are alternatives.
If your income is low, Medicaid benefits may be available. However, if your income is too high for Medicaid, but falls below a certain level (which changes annually), your child may be eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The healthcare.gov website has an online application process to help determine eligibility for CHIP.
CHIP coverage includes immunizations, routine checkups, and dental and vision care, and is administered by individual states working with their Medicaid programs. Currently, CHIP funding, which is provided by the federal government, is under debate.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – also referred to as Obamacare – has been offering coverage for children and young adults under 26. As the open enrollment period was over in mid-December, you can only purchase ACA coverage if you have a qualifying life event. You may want to discuss this with your licensed health insurance agent.
Your agent will also advise you on the insurance plans available for children who do not qualify for CHIP or Medicaid, or parents who need private coverage. Each state has various laws regarding “child only” health insurance, so it is important to discuss this option with your agent. He or she is knowledgeable about the alternatives you have available to you and your child.
And, most important, your premiums will not be affected by working with a licensed health insurance agent.