(The Daily Dish) Today we have Seth Andrews the Current CHIP Advisory Council Chair sitting with Nicea and Surae to talk about the importance of health insurance for children and how it can help parents and communities as well.

Nothing is as important as a healthy start in life and children do better when they have quality health care; they grow up stronger, ready to learn, and prepared to contribute to their communities. The facts are compelling: children with health insurance coverage receive better healthcare than children without insurance. They stay healthier because they receive medical care sooner and more regularly.

In addition, society benefits if we have healthy children, and healthy children learn better and do better in school. 

Insurance helps protect against financial challenges for families when children need care. In times of medical crisis, health insurance help avoids added stress that comes with the inability to pay and 2/3 of all bankruptcies are due to medical debt.

Many find themselves asking “Are there programs available for Utah families to get coverage for their kids?” and the answer is YES! Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) offers free or low-cost health insurance for kids and teens. More than 230,000 Utah kids stay healthy and get the medical care they need every year with these programs.

What can CHIP and Medicaid do for uninsured Utah families?

  • Utah is ranked 46th in the country in the percentage of uninsured children.
  • CHIP and Medicaid help fill a gap so that more children have the coverage that gets them the health care they need when they need it.
  • CHIP provides coverage for families that can’t otherwise afford quality health insurance for their children.
  • CHIP covers Utah children with complete coverage, ranging from regular doctor visits to emergency care. At no cost, children can access preventive and routine care including immunizations, dental cleanings, and well-child exams.
  • It is comforting to know that CHIP is there to help those who find themselves in challenging situations or economic hardship.

Eligibility:

  • Children who may qualify for CHIP or Medicaid must meet income guidelines and be:
    • Under Age 19
    • US citizens or legal residents
  • For example a family of four can earn up to $55,500 annually and be eligible for CHIP or Medicaid.

Is there a program for parents to get free or low-cost health coverage?

  • Yes, in 2020, Utah expanded its Medicaid program to cover more adults and parents. 
  • To be eligible, parents must meet income guidelines, be Utah residents, age 19-64, and be US citizens or legal residents. (Annual income of $18,754 for an individual and $38,295 for a family of four may be eligible.)
  • Medicaid for adults offers complete coverage, ranging from regular doctor visits to emergency care. For low or no co-pays, adults can access preventive and routine care including immunizations, dental cleanings, and prescriptions.

One application per family is all that is required. When you apply for children’s coverage, you can also be considered for all medical programs available for your family, like adult Medicaid.

For more information:

Call (888) 222-2542 for an application or you can apply for English online or Spanish online.


*Sponsored by the Utah Department of Health.