Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Mississippi was signed into law in 1997 and is mainly for children younger than 18 years of age. The purpose of MS CHIP is to provide health coverage to children who do not qualify for Medicaid. This means that if adults in a family do not have Medicaid eligibility children in the family can still apply for CHIP. Medicaid for children and CHIP are separate programs even though CHIP and Medicaid enrollment often follow similar rules and guidelines. Many parents interested in enrolling their children affordable health care coverage may not know how to apply for CHIP or who is eligible. To find out what is CHIP Medicaid and what is covered by Medicaid in Mississippi, read the information below.
What is Mississippi’s Children’s Health Insurance Program?
The MS Children’s Health Insurance Program is state-provided health care coverage for children, not a form of private insurance. Like enrolling in Medicaid, Mississippi CHIP beneficiaries will have access to a network of medical providers. CHIP enrollees are able to pick any doctor or health provider that is in network with CHIP coverage. While Medicaid for children covers approved medical treatments, CHIP recipients will have to pay small premiums to keep their coverage. Even services partially covered by Medicaid may have additional costs in the form of copays.
Find out more about the cost and coverage available for Medicaid enrollees by reviewing the comprehension information in our free guide.
Is CHIP Considered Medicaid in Mississippi?
Many parents wonder, “Is CHIP considered Medicaid in MS?” when looking to enroll children in the program. Although enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP are similar, CHIP is an extension of the Medicaid program and has different eligibility qualifications. The income guidelines for Medicaid and CHIP are not the same. Medicaid is generally for those with low incomes or have a disability. Since the welfare of children’s health is vital, the financial limits for CHIP eligibility is higher.
Please note that the requirements for CHIP and Medicaid enrollment are different in each state. Unlike Mississippi, some states accepted the Affordable Care Act expansion, which increases the number of applicants who are Medicaid eligible. Medicaid eligible children in MS should enroll in Medicaid for children rather than CHIP, as Medicaid coverage and costs are more beneficial and advantageous.
Who qualifies for CHIP in Mississippi?
Before applying to the Mississippi Children’s Health Insurance Program, applicants should know the enrollment criteria and documents needed to establish eligibility. To be covered by CHIP in Mississippi, petitioners must:
- Be younger than 19 years of age.
- Meet income guidelines.
- Be a United States citizen or legal immigrant.
- Not have health insurance at the time their application is submitted.
Certain states allow pregnant women to receive CHIP benefits. In Mississippi, expectant mothers with Medicaid eligibility can be covered by the Medicaid program instead of CHIP. When claimants apply for CHIP enrollment, they will have to provide documents that prove identity, income source and citizen or immigration status. CHIP and Medicaid income limits for eligibility consider household size. For example, households with four members will have lower income thresholds to be eligible than a family with seven members. Babies born to women on Medicaid will most likely be qualified for Medicaid or CHIP coverage as well.
What services are covered by CHIP in Mississippi?
The Children’s Health Insurance Program in MS covers many medical services to those who are enrolled in the program. The mission of the program is to keep low income children healthy so many important and preventative treatments are covered by CHIP benefits including:
- Doctor’s appointments
- Prescription medication
- Hospital visits
- Laboratory tests and X-rays
- Emergency services and transportation
Dental care and mental health services covered by CHIP may only include certain types of treatments or procedures. There may also be a limit to the number of Medicaid services, such as only one set of eyeglasses and one eye exam per year. Those enrolled in Medicaid for children will have access to the same types of services listed above as well as a few others. For example, certain Medicaid recipients may have non-emergency medical transport covered.
How to Apply for CHIP in Mississippi
Applying for CHIP and Medicaid enrollment in Mississippi is easy, as residents can use the same form to request medical assistance. The Medicaid CHIP application is also the same form to request a tax credit from the Affordable Care Act program, a type of government health care assistance subsidy for private insurance plans available through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.
Petitioners can apply for CHIP coverage by filling out the application online or by printing the form to deliver in person. There are 30 local offices of the Mississippi Division of Medicaid within the state. Applicants can also mail the form to:
Mississippi Division of Medicaid
550 High Street, Suite 1000
Jackson, MS 39201
Residents applying to Children’s Health Insurance Program or Medicaid for children can fax the application to 601-576-4164. For help understanding how to apply for CHIP or Medicaid, customer service is available by calling 800-421-2408.
For comprehensive information on the requirements to receive Medicaid benefits, download our detailed guide.