Health Insurance for Children Across the Country

Health Insurance for Children

Health insurance has been a major issue in the United States for years. But it undoubtedly became a hot topic in recent months as the Supreme Court debated over whether to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Though the health care reform law has been upheld, there are still nearly 50 million people in the country who are currently uninsured and lack access to affordable health care. Among that population are millions of uninsured children who need medical care the most. What health insurance and care options are available for them?

Millions of U.S. Children without Health Insurance

A number of states have published articles sharing results of the 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book, which has revealed that approximately 5.9 million, or one in 12 children, were going without health insurance in 2010.

A growing number of parents are unable to afford private health insurance, but also don’t qualify for public coverage. This can create a number of issues for children without health insurance.

According to the report, uninsured children are:

  • Less likely to have a regular health care provider to manage their needs than children with coverage
  • More likely to receive treatment after their condition has worsened, which puts them at greater risk for hospitalization

Having access to quality health insurance coverage is critical for individuals of all ages, but it’s even more important in avoiding financial devastation when a child experiences a serious or chronic illness.

The good news is that the number of uninsured children has decreased since 2008. According to the KIDS COUNT Data Book, the number of children without health insurance decreased by 20 percent between 2008 and 2010.

However, it’s important to note that much of the decline has been attributed to a lower number of low-wage workers and part-time workers having access to employer coverage. Since many parents have not been able to qualify for insurance through their jobs, their children have qualified for public assistance.

Where to Find Health Insurance for Children

In order to aid children who may not have access to health insurance, but also have parents who can’t qualify for federal programs like Medicaid, a number of organizations and some states have come up with ways to offer health insurance for children when needed.

If you have a child in need of medical care, you may be able to benefit from the list of options below:

Insure Kids Now is a government-based website dedicated to providing information about health care and health insurance resources like Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) around the country. The website itself does not offer coverage, but through it, you can learn more about ways to get uninsured children the care they need.

SCHIP Programs

Various states offer opportunities for care and coverage through SCHIP, which is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. SCHIP makes funds available to states that have federally-approved programs already in place to help provide coverage to children without health insurance.

Below is a list of SCHIP options offered by state:

  • Alabama: ALL Kids Program Information
  • Alaska: Denali KidCare Program Information
  • Arizona: KidsCare
  • Arkansas: ARKids First
  • California: Healthy Families
  • Colorado: Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)
  • Connecticut: HUSKY Program
  • Delaware: Healthy Children
  • District of Columbia: Healthy Families
  • Florida: KidCare
  • Georgia: PeachCare for Kids
  • Hawaii: Quest
  • Idaho: Idaho Health Plan
  • Illinois: All Kids
  • Indiana: Hoosier Healthwise
  • Iowa: Hawk-I
  • Kansas: HealthWave
  • Kentucky: KCHIP
  • Louisiana: LaCHIP
  • Maine: MaineCare
  • Maryland: Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP)
  • Massachusetts: MassHealth
  • Michigan: MIChild
  • Minnesota: MinnesotaCare
  • Mississippi: CHIP
  • Missouri: HealthNet for Kids
  • Montana: Healthy Montana Kids
  • Nebraska: Kids Connection
  • Nevada: Check Up
  • New Hampshire: Health Kids
  • New Jersey: FamilyCare
  • New Mexico: New MexiKids/MexiTeens
  • New York: Child Health Plus
  • North Carolina: Health Choice for Children
  • North Dakota: Healthy Steps
  • Ohio: Health Start
  • Oklahoma: SoonerCare
  • Oregon: Health Kids
  • Pennsylvania: CHIP
  • Rhode Island: RIte Care
  • South Carolina: Health Connections Kids
  • South Dakota: CHIP
  • Tennessee: CoverKids
  • Texas: CHIP
  • Utah: CHIP
  • Vermont: Dr Dynasaur
  • Virginia: FAMIS
  • Washington: Apple Health for Kids
  • West Virginia: CHIP
  • Wisconsin: BadgerCare Plus
  • Wyoming: KidCare CHIP

Being able to take advantage of a program in your state may give your child access to the health insurance coverage they need and deserve. So learn more about programs in your area that could ensure your child’s medical needs are taken care of in the years to come.

Photo: proimos