Program Description

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a partnership between the federal and state governments that provides health coverage to uninsured children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private health coverage.  Benefits vary by state and by the type of CHIP program, but all states provide comprehensive coverage like immunizations and well-baby/well-child care at no cost.

The federal government establishes general guidelines for the administration of CHIP benefits. However, specific eligibility requirements to get CHIP benefits, and the type and scope of services provided, are determined by each individual state. You must check with the CHIP office in the state you live in to confirm if your family is eligible to get benefits. These programs may be called different names in your state. To find information about the Medicaid and CHIP programs in your state, visit or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669). When you call, you’ll be connected to someone in your state who can help you learn whether your children may qualify and help you enroll them.

General Program Requirements

For this benefit program, you must be under 19 or be a primary caregiver with a child under 19, not covered by health insurance (including Medicaid), and a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident.

In order to qualify, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts:

Household Size*Maximum Income Level (Per Year)

Eligibility depends on your income, the number of people in your family and the rules in your state. In almost every state, children in families with income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($48,500 per year for a family of four) are covered. In more than half the states, the income eligibility for children can be even higher.

Depending on your income level, you may need to pay low premiums and cost-sharing for some services. The rest of the coverage is paid for by the federal government and your state.  See your state's program information for details.


Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

You can enroll in CHIP anytime, and can apply online, by phone, by mail or in person. You can apply using the online application or directly at your state’s Medicaid or CHIP agency.  For specific information about CHIP in your state, including steps to apply, visit

Program Contact Information

For more information, visit or call or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669).