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Learn About CHIP in Iowa

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) helps provide health coverage to children from low-income families. Iowa CHIP is referred to as Healthy and Well Kids or hawk-i. If a household does not have Medicaid eligibility children from that family can still be able to qualify for hawk-i. The mission of this program is to provide health care coverage to children who may not qualify for Medicaid and have families that need support in providing health services. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment in Iowa seem very similar but each has differences regarding eligibility and program regulations. Medicaid for children and CHIP also offer similar covered services, although there may be costs to enroll in hawk-i. Enrollees can find out what is covered by CHIP Medicaid in Iowa as well as how to apply for CHIP benefits within the outlined information below.

What is Iowa’s Children’s Health Insurance Program?

What is CHIP Medicaid? Each state has its version of the Children’s Health Insurance Program that provides health insurance to qualified minors in the area. Like Medicaid, CHIP is a government benefit, not private insurance. Once a child has been enrolled in IA CHIP, or hawk-i, he or she will have access to the medical and health providers in the Managed Care Organization (MCO). Beneficiaries can choose to keep their existing doctor as long as he or she is in network with the MCO. Upon enrollment, CHIP recipients can choose from three different health care plans. Those enrolled in Medicaid for children will use the same MCO network but the types of services covered and associated prices will be different.

Find out which health care services are federally mandated for all Medicaid enrollees by reviewing the detailed information in our free guide.

Is CHIP Considered Medicaid in Iowa?

Both Medicaid for adults and Medicaid for children help very low-income people and those with disabilities. CHIP is different from children’s Medicaid, as CHIP is an extension of the Medicaid program designed to help children from households that do not meet the the requirements of the Medicaid program but cannot afford insurance. Higher earning families can use the CHIP program within certain income ranges. Children with Medicaid eligibility will have all of their approved health care services covered. Families of children on CHIP will have to pay a small premium each month and a portion of certain medical treatments.

Who qualifies for CHIP in Iowa?

Part of learning how to apply for CHIP in Iowa is discovering who is eligible to enroll. Children’s Medicaid and CHIP enrollment requirements are similar with the exception of the income guidelines. In addition to meeting the financial conditions, the Iowa Children’s Health Insurance Program accepts those who meet the following criteria:

  • Younger than 19 years of age
  • Not the dependent of a state employee
  • Not on private insurance or Medicaid benefits
  • A United States citizen or legal resident
  • Live in Iowa

Pregnant women with Medicaid eligibility can enroll in the Medicaid program instead of the CHIP program. When applying for Medicaid CHIP in Iowa, petitioners will be asked to provide proof of identity, residence, citizen status and income. Lying on a CHIP application to fake eligibility for the program will result in criminal charges.

What services are covered by CHIP in Iowa?

The health care services covered CHIP are those considered preventative and medically necessary. Like Medicaid for children, CHIP will only cover services rendered by an in-network provider. This means that if an enrollee seeks a covered treatment from an out-of-network doctor without prior approval, he or she may be responsible for the full cost of the procedure. Many of the services and treatments covered under CHIP include:

  • Emergency room services
  • Check-ups and doctor’s visits
  • Hearing and vision testing
  • Allergy testing
  • Prescribed medication
  • Dental care

Treatments covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program may vary depending on which of three health care plans are chosen by the applicant’s family. Most preventative services such as immunizations and check-ups will not come with a copayment but other services may. There is a limit on how many services or treatments a CHIP recipient may have. For example, a recipient may only be able to have one teeth cleaning per year. Approved claimants will receive information on CHIP Medicaid costs and coverage limits.

How to Apply for CHIP in Iowa

CHIP and Medicaid enrollment can be completed online through the Iowa Department of Human Resources benefits portal. Applying for CHIP can be done over the phone by calling 800-257-8563. You can apply for CHIP by sending an application to this following address:

Imaging Center 4
P.O. Box 2027
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406

Those who have questions about enrollment can email the Iowa Department of Human Services at: or call the number listed above. All information about being accepted into the program will be sent by mail.

Learn how to potentially avoid having Medicaid benefits denied for you or your children by downloading our comprehensive guide.