Chip. CHIP, or the Children's Health Insurance Program, is another health insurance alternative for single mothers and fathers. If you meet the requirements, you may be able to obtain free or low-cost health insurance for single parents through CHIP. You will also have to fulfill an income criterion with CHIP.
The program was created in 1997 as a federal subsidy for states that choose to provide coverage. Eligible children must live below 185 percent of the federal poverty level (about $23,000 for a family of four). Parents cannot be deemed ineligible for other public programs such as Social Security or Medicare.
In addition to receiving a federal subsidy, participating states are allowed to extend coverage to young adults up to age 26 if they fall below 150 percent of the federal poverty level ($18,000 for a family of four). These so-called "young adult" policies differ from traditional child policies in that they do not require continuing employment or any other type of contribution from the parent.
Finally, some states choose to offer coverage to qualified non-child insureds. This option is often called "adult child" coverage because it provides medical care for children of eligible adults who would otherwise be unable to afford coverage. The amount of funding that can be used for these policies is limited by state law; generally, these policies can cover only spouses and unmarried partners.
You'll need coverage for the baby's birth as well as regular newborn checks. Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) 6 are low-income insurance programs that cover pregnant women and children. Medicaid eligibility and program criteria differ from state to state. The CHIP program is funded by federal dollars through your employer or the government. You can find out more about these programs here: www.medicaid.gov and www.chip.cms.gov.
In addition to these programs, all babies under the age of 1 year must have medical insurance. Most states require that you carry this insurance from the time you know you're going to be pregnant until your child is 1 year old. Some policies also offer coverage during your pregnancy. Find out what kinds of policies exist in your state by contacting your insurer or visiting any one of the office locations listed on www.apple.com/shop/select_a_provider/index.html#specials.
Most insurers will provide coverage if you deliver your baby at a hospital that participates in your plan.
Pregnant women can obtain Medicaid coverage in the majority of states. Medicaid is a federal program that provides low-income people with free or low-cost health insurance. Pregnant women who earn too much for Medicaid can acquire health insurance via the Children's Health Insurance Program in several states (also called CHIP). A government program that offers health insurance to children and pregnant women whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance.
The premium costs for these programs vary by state but typically do not exceed 8% of a family's income. Many states also offer additional assistance programs such as prenatal care incentives, parenting classes, and breastfeeding support. Eligibility for these programs is usually based on income and resource limits set by each state, so check with your local agency for more information.
It is important to understand that neither Medicaid nor CHIP provide complete coverage. Both programs cover pregnancy-related services and hospitalization but exclude prescriptions, dental care, vision care, mental health treatment, and other essential services. These programs are intended only for impoverished individuals and families and should not be used by anyone else.
If you are already enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, your provider will tell you if they refuse to see you because of your pregnancy. If this happens, look for another doctor who will accept your insurance. It is also important to note that if you stop making payments toward your medical bill, your insurance coverage will be terminated at the end of the month unless you pay the bill in full.