Health care reform is extending the funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to 2015. It adds two more years of funding for the program. CHIP provides low-cost health insurance for children up to age 19. These children's families don't qualify for Medicaid but can't afford health coverage.
CHIP and Medicaid will also get $40 million in federal funds to promote the programs. The extra funds help ensure that more low-income families who qualify for the programs enroll and get health coverage.
All states have a CHIP program, but some may have a different name for it. It's a joint program between the federal government and the state - just like Medicaid. Some states combine CHIP and Medicaid into one program. The states set up the rules and run the programs with funding help from the federal government.
Find out more about CHIP
Here's what's different
CHIP funding that was set to end in 2013 is extended to 2015. The law also adds more federal funds to help promote enrollment in CHIP and Medicaid.
How it impacts you
If you have low income but Medicaid can't help, your children may be eligible for CHIP. The funding can help you get health insurance at a lower cost for children up to age 19.
What's the difference between Medicaid and CHIP?
Both help low-income people. But Medicaid covers families while CHIP covers only children up to age 19. Families whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid can't always afford to buy health insurance. CHIP can help, at least with health coverage for the children.
Learn more about Medicaid
Does CHIP cover only children?
In certain situations, pregnant women may also be covered.
How do I find out if my kids can be covered by CHIP?
Check your state's requirements. Eligibility is based on your income, but it varies by state.
Read about CHIP eligibility