The children's Health Insurance Program is also known as CHIP, and came into effect in 1997 under former President Bill Clinton. CHIP provides health care to uninsured children up to 19 years. CHIP covers 8 million children.
CHIP offers coverage to children from families who are ineligible for Medicaid, the below poverty level to qualify for Medicaid and this varies from state to state. It is best to check if your kids qualify for CHIP in www.insurekidsnow.gov or fill forms on the Marketplace.
Benefits can differ in each state but all plans provide comprehensive coverage, which include free wellness, doctor and dental visits. Some other services involve fees and co pays. Under CHIP a person will not have to pay more than 5% of the family's annual income.
There are no enrollment periods under CHIP and when a child qualifies for the program he can be signed up and start the cover immediately.
The future of CHIP is at present undecided only due to funding issues. The program has been extended to 2019 - the issue being that some states fear they will run out of funds by 2015. Lawmakers are at present working on this issue of covering lower income families.Reference: Nikki Davis