Children’s Health Insurance Program: CHIP
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a partnership between the Federal and State government that provides health insurance coverage to targeted low-income children whose families are above the threshold for Medicaid coverage but do not make enough to afford private health insurance. The Federal government provides general guidelines for the CHIP program, but specific eligibility requirements for enrollment, service delivery systems, and the types of care covered by the program are determined by States. CHIP requires States to ensure that covered services are available to all individuals who are eligible for and enrolled in the program, including those that are homeless, without discrimination. States may implement outreach or health services initiatives specifically designed to reach different targeted subpopulations, such as homeless children. State governance of the program allows the services provided to be tailored to a states target population dependent upon need. State CHIP program administrators are also working with other social and health services to implement outreach initiatives to targeted subpopulations, such as children experiencing homelessness.
Low-income children whose families are above the income threshold for Medicaid but below some state CHIP income threshold may be eligible to enroll in the CHIP program. Families should apply through their state CHIP office.
Funding for the CHIP program is appropriated by Congress. Each state receives an allotment from the federal government to administer its own CHIP program. The state receives funding for health expenditures of its CHIP population based on a funding formula, which is determined by its proportion of uninsured and low-income population, up to the set allotment to the state.