What is Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)?: Everything Parents Need to Know
Having health insurance is a necessity in modern America. You do. Do your children. It’s not a luxury anymore but an important need. It’s the law, you know. Parents who do not have health insurance may be required to pay a yearly fee if their children are not covered. If someone in the family gets sick or hurt, they may have to pay for all of their medical expenses out of their own pockets if they are forced to forego other expenses. It may be much more expensive than the premiums you’d pay for insurance to avoid this situation.
The federal and state governments have collaborated to create a health insurance marketplace to assist individuals in acquiring health coverage (also known as health care exchange program). It makes obtaining coverage more comfortable than before, while the application procedure may appear difficult at first.
Follow these steps to enroll in a health insurance plan.
The First Steps
Verify if you or your child already have access to alternative forms of health insurance coverage before actively seeking a new policy. The federal government considers a person to be insured if they are enrolled in Medicare, a program for run by state and known as child health insurance plan (CHIP), or have insurance via their parent’s or spouse’s workplace. The government may already be providing insurance for your kid, or your family may qualify for coverage at little or no cost.
The United States Government has a comprehensive healthcare website where you can apply for insurance or learn about existing programmes (www.healthcare.gov). Thereafter, you may enroll in Medicaid or CHIP, or look at several insurance options.
Keep in mind that the Health Insurance Marketplace’s open enrollment season begins in mid-November and runs through the end of February. In order to be insured for the year after the period of enrollment has ended, you or your kid may need to obtain insurance from a private source.
Healthcare.gov operates the state-based health insurance exchanges in a few US states. Most other countries handle it on their own. If you happen to call one of those states home, you can either go straight to main website of your state or access it through the healthcare.gov portal.
To apply, enroll, or compare plans, call the United States Government’s assistance line at 1-800-318-2596 if you lack computer access.
Plan Application Procedures
It is possible to apply for a health insurance plan through the health insurance marketplace in a number of different ways, including online (on website of healthcare, healthcare.gov or a state’s main website), over the phone, or through the mail (by filling out a form that is either mailed to you or downloaded on the internet).
Your first step in submitting an online application is to register for an account on healthcare.gov or your state’s central website.
There are specifics regarding each applicant that must be known. Prepare to contribute:
A reference to a social security number specifics about your company and your income, as well as the policy number for your current health insurance plan
If your employer provides insurance of health and you’re not satisfied with it, you have the option of enrolling in a plan through healthcare.gov. First, you’ should have to fill out an Employer Coverage, which may be accessed on the healthcare.gov website.
Identifying details such as your name, the name of your child, your address, phone number, and email address will be required to complete the application. Citizenship, dependents, and your intent to file a federal income tax return the next year will all be factors in the forms you’ll need to fill out.
A proof of annual income is required if you need financial assistance paying for insurance. Wage and other income streams are included below.
Pensions, savings, rental income, unemployment, and alimony
When completing your application, you may deduct the amount you spend on things like alimony and student loan interest.
After this, what will happen?
HealthCare.gov or your state’s website will tell you if you and your family are eligible for Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP once you submit an application. It will also tell you if you and your family are financially stable enough to purchase health insurance on the open market. The general rule is that if you are a citizen or legal immigrant of the United States and are not already serving time in prison, you will be eligible.
It’s highly improbable, but sometimes parents can enrol in health insurance through a marketplace even if their children can’t. It’s not uncommon for children to qualify, but their parents to not. You can still seek private insurance for everyone who needs it and you have the right to challenge the judgement if either of these apply to you.
If you need insurance for your health but you are not eligible for government assistance, the health insurance marketplace can help you compare private plans in your state that fit your budget. To choose a policy to purchase is entirely up to you.
Choosing the Right Insurance: What to Consider
When comparing policies, “premium” and “deductible” are two key terms to keep in mind. In insurance parlance, your monthly premium is the sum you fork out in exchange for protection. Your annual out-of-pocket expense for covered medical care before insurance kicks in is called the deductible. In most cases, insurance policies with lower premiums also have higher deductibles, whereas policies with higher premiums typically have lower deductibles.
The three most fundamental types of insurance are as follows:
This type of insurance is meant to cover the costs associated with a major accident or illness in the event that the policyholder is otherwise healthy. Only individuals under thirty years of age and those exempted from other healthcare plans due to other reasons qualify for this option. These policies often have high deductibles but inexpensive premiums. The typical plan only pays for about 60% of a person’s health care expenses.
In the same vein as catastrophic insurance, bronze plans feature low premiums and large deductibles but provide greater coverage overall, often covering 60% of costs.
Premiums and deductibles for silver and gold plans are about the national average. 70% of expenses are covered by silver plans. Eighty percent of medical expenses are covered by Gold policies.
Premiums for platinum plans, the highest tier of coverage, are the highest while deductibles are the lowest. There is at least a 90% coverage rate for medical expenses with these plans.
No matter what plan you have, from catastrophic to bronze to silver to gold to platinum, you get to see the doctor for free or at a steep discount for preventative care services like exams and immunizations. In addition to covering medical costs, most plans typically cover the cost of prescription medications and other services at a discounted rate. However, the details of each plan’s benefits are different, so it’s important to do your research. Don’t rush into a decision without giving some serious consideration to how well the plan suits your needs and those of your loved ones.
How soon may I begin making insurance claims?
Your or your child’s insurance coverage will begin once the enrollment fee and the first month’s premium have been paid. You and any others who will be covered by the policy should each receive an insurance card from the insurance company. These cards will contain the policy number and other relevant details. In the event that you or your kid require medical attention prior to receiving your card, you should contact your insurance provider to verify that you have been added to their system.
If you or your child need to see a doctor, double check that they are part of your insurance’s network. The medical professionals that make up a network are those who have formed arrangements to accept payments and offer services on behalf of a specific insurance carrier. You could have to pay full cost for some services if you take your kids to a doctor who isn’t part of your plan’s network.
In order to find a primary care physician that you feel comfortable with, it is a good idea to do some research on the doctors who participate in your plan’s network. After that, it’s time to start making doctor’s appointments and using your health insurance to keep your loved ones well.
There are efforts to modify or repeal certain provisions of the Protection and Affordable Care Act (often referred to as “Obamacare”). The laws and regulations that govern the health insurance industry are expected to evolve further in the future. Healthcare.gov and your state’s health commissioner’s website are great resources for keeping up with the latest information on health insurance and other topics related to Obamacare.
Read this article, if you are interested in reading tips on parenting.