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Learn About CHIP in Arkansas

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Arkansas was set into law in 1997 to help provide over 100,000 resident children with no cost or low-cost health insurance. CHIP, called ARKids First-B in Arkansas, is available to children younger than 19 years of age who come from qualifying families. The AR Children’s Health Insurance Program provides vital medical services, including doctor’s visits and hospital stays, to children whose families could not otherwise afford those medical services. To learn more about CHIP and Medicaid enrollment in Arkansas and to find answers to important questions like, “What is CHIP Medicaid?” and “Is CHIP considered Medicaid?” read through the detailed sections provided below.

What is the Arkansas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)?

The AR Children’s Health Insurance Program is used by 93 percent of all qualifying children in the state, which is about 20 percent more than the national average. AR CHIP is designed to help low-income families provide health insurance benefits for their children. If these adults do not have Medicaid eligibility children from these families can still get affordable health insurance.

Children’s health insurance programs in Arkansas are divided into two categories: ARKids First A and ARKids First B. ARKids First A is Medicaid for children in Arkansas, and it covers the total cost of health insurance and qualifying health services. ARKids First B is the state’s CHIP program and it is for children who need affordable health insurance but come from households that do not meet the requirements for Medicaid because their family’s income is too high. As a result, CHIP beneficiaries are required to pay small copays and portions of their health care costs.

Find out more about the cost for Medicaid coverage in our free comprehensive guide.

Is CHIP considered Medicaid in Arkansas?

By definition, the Children’s Health Insurance Program is a Medicaid expansion program designed to aid those who are not Medicaid eligible children but who still require affordable health insurance. Arkansas CHIP and Medicaid enrollment are similar, as the two programs work closely together to provide health care coverage to children in the state. Both CHIP and Medicaid application processes can be completed online. If applicants are denied Medicaid coverage, they can apply for CHIP enrollment. Furthermore, pregnant women can be covered under CHIP, just as they can be covered under Medicaid.

Who qualifies for CHIP in Arkansas?

While learning how to apply for CHIP in AR, determining the qualifications for the program can be confusing. There are various Children’s Health Insurance Program eligibility guidelines that petitioners must meet to receive coverage, such as:

  • Proving you are a United States citizen or a legal alien.
  • Being younger than 19 years of age.
  • The household meeting the income qualifications.
  • Not being enrolled in a health insurance plan.

Medicaid and CHIP enrollment requirements vary from one program to the next. Since ARKids First A is Medicaid for children designed for low-income families, the financial requirements are stricter. Applicants for ARKids First A need to go without insurance coverage for at least six months to qualify. Meanwhile, ARKids First B does not have as stringent income requirements and requires children not to have insurance for 90 or more days.

How to Apply for CHIP in Arkansas

Those asking the question, “How do I apply for CHIP?” might be afraid that the application process is long or extensive. However, you can apply for CHIP in Arkansas easily in one of two ways. CHIP enrollment can be done online through the state portal, by following the various prompts. Additionally, applicants can print out the necessary application form, fill it out and return it to the nearest Department of Human Services office. As mentioned above, all Children’s Health Insurance Program applicants will need to provide proof of their eligibility status when submitting an application by furnishing documents that establish eligibility for health insurance assistance.

What is covered by CHIP Medicaid in Arkansas?

If you are wondering what is covered by CHIP in AR, the ARKids First-B program provides a wide variety of services to children who are in need. Specifically, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) covers all of the following and more for beneficiaries when such services are deemed medically necessary:

  • Dental and vision care
  • Emergency room visits and medical transport
  • Inpatient hospital stays and home health care
  • Laboratory tests, X-rays and immunizations
  • Occupational or physical therapy

There may be limitations to the amount of services provided in any one of these categories. For example, CHIP in Arkansas covers only one eye exam and one pair of glasses per year under vision care. If the treatment beneficiaries are seeking is not medically necessary, they can still receive the treatment if they either get a referral from their primary care doctor or pay a copay.

For comprehensive information about health care benefits for children, download our detailed guide.