Changes to Texas Children's Health Insurance Plans Effective Sept. 1, 2007

Armen Hareyan's picture

Texas Children's Health Insurance

House Bill 109, passed by the 80th Texas Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Perry, directed the following changes in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP):

  • Extend the enrollment period to 12 months.

  • Eliminate the 90-day waiting period for most children.

  • Increase the asset limit from $5,000 to $10,000 per household.

  • Increase the amount cars can be worth when determining eligibility.

  • Allow childcare expenses to be deducted from the household income when determining whether children are eligible for the program.


HHSC will implement these changes on Sept. 1, 2007. On that date, most children in the midst of a 90-day waiting period will have the remainder of that waiting period eliminated and will be enrolled in CHIP for a 12-month coverage period. In accordance with the law, children who had private health insurance within three months of submitting their CHIP application may still be subject to the 90-day waiting period.

Families that submit CHIP/Children's Medicaid applications in mid-July or later and are found to be eligible for CHIP coverage:

  • Will have their six-month coverage automatically extended to 12 months on Sept. 1.

  • Will not be subject to the 90-day waiting period unless they had private health insurance within three months of submitting their application.

  • Will have their case re-evaluated to allow verified childcare expense deductions, which may affect the co-pay amount the family is required to pay.

Applications received after Aug. 17 will be processed using the increased asset limit and vehicle exclusion amounts and the childcare deductions. Children eligible for CHIP will receive 12 months of coverage. Families with incomes above 185 percent of the federal poverty level will have their incomes reviewed in the sixth month of coverage. HHSC will notify those families if additional information is needed or if the review finds that the family's income has changed.

Enrollment fees will not change, and the payment will cover 12 months of health insurance coverage. There is no enrollment fee for the lowest-income families, and higher-income families pay up to $50 per enrollment period.

Texas families affected by these changes in health insurance program will receive notification in the mail.