Applying for Low-Cost or Free Health Insurance for Your Children
You probably have many questions about applying for low cost or free health insurance for your children. Here are some questions and answers to get you started.
I need health insurance for my children. What are my options?
Call 1-877 KIDS NOW (1-877-543-7669) or go to Your State's Program . When you call our free and confidential hotline, you will be directly connected to your state's program that provides either free or low-cost health insurance for children. The states have different eligibility rules, but in most states, uninsured children 18 years old and younger whose families earn up to $34,100 a year (for a family of four) are eligible.
How can I get more information on my state's program?
Simply click on Your State's Program or call the Insure Kids Now! hotline at 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669). The call is free and confidential. When you call, you will speak with someone from the children's health insurance program in your state. They can send you an application and help you apply.
Is there a limit on the amount of time my child can remain enrolled?
Your child can stay on the program as long as he or she qualifies. Although there is no limit on the amount of time your child can remain on the program, you will need to renew their coverage periodically, generally every 6 to 12 months. As long as your children continue to meet the eligibility criteria established by your state, they can remain on the program.
What services does the insurance cover?
For little or no cost, this insurance pays for doctor visits, prescription medicines, hospitalizations, and much more. Most states also cover the cost of dental care, eye care, and medical equipment.
Is this program new?
In 1997 Congress passed legislation that allows states to provide health insurance to more children in working families. These programs build on the Medicaid program that started covering children and adults in the mid-1960's.
Is this a welfare program?
Children's health insurance programs are not welfare programs. Everyone has a stake in making sure America's children are healthy. These programs are designed to support working families and low-income families alike in providing health insurance to their children.
I'm not applying for this program, but I'd like to get involved. How can I help?
To help other families learn more about available health insurance for their children, go to Help Us Spread the Word .
Why is health insurance for children and teens important?
Children who have health insurance generally have better health throughout their childhood and into their teens. They are more likely to:
- Receive needed shots that prevent disease;
- Get treatment for recurring illnesses such as ear infections and asthma;
- Get preventative care to keep them well;
- Get sick less often; and
- Get the treatment they need when they are sick.
How does having health insurance affect my child's ability to learn?