Learning about the Missouri Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is often the first priority of parents who are interested in finding medical assistance for their children. Since the late 1990s, MO CHIP has worked to provide health insurance coverage for low income children who are not Medicaid eligible. This means that even if they do not meet standards for Medicaid eligibility children may still apply for the CHIP program to receive affordable health care services. Parents may ask “What is CHIP Medicaid?” and attempt to find out what is covered by CHIP Medicaid when they initially begin looking into the Missouri CHIP and Medicaid programs for health care coverage. Though CHIP and Medicaid enrollment may seem very similar, they are in fact two separate programs. To learn how to apply for CHIP and other CHIP and Medicaid information, continue reading the rest of this page.
What is Missouri’s Children’s Health Insurance Program?
The Missouri Medicaid for children and CHIP programs are both forms of government benefits that offer medical coverage. In Missouri, the CHIP program is called MO HealthNet for Kids. Each state manages CHIP and Medicaid in different ways, so it is important to know the specific rules and regulations for your state. After a beneficiary has taken the steps to enroll in MO CHIP, he or she will have access to all medical providers that are in network with the program. CHIP recipients can keep their existing doctor as long as the doctor is in network. Using an out of network health care provider may result in CHIP not covering the services rendered.
Is CHIP considered Medicaid in Missouri?
Applicants often wonder “Is Missouri CHIP considered Medicaid?” as they start the enrollment process. In Missouri, CHIP is not considered Medicaid, but instead, it is considered an extension of the Medicaid program. This way, Medicaid ineligible children can still receive low-cost health insurance coverage from the programs when they enroll in the children’s medical program instead.
Since Medicaid and CHIP are separate programs, there are some important differences between them. The largest difference is that Medicaid is for individuals with very low incomes or other qualifying conditions, while families of children on CHIP have a low income that is still too high for Medicaid enrollment. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment in MO also differ in the amount the beneficiary (or the beneficiary’s family) will have to pay for services. Approved medical services will be covered for Medicaid enrollees while CHIP eligible children will have to pay a small premium and pay for a portion of their medical services. Please be aware that there is a version of the MO HealthNet for Kids called MO HealthNet for Kids Non-SCHIP that is separate from the CHIP program and has its own regulations for eligibility and coverage.
Who qualifies for CHIP in Missouri?
Almost 10,000 children are covered by CHIP benefits in Missouri. Before applying for CHIP benefits, petitioners can consider the following guidelines for eligibility:
- Applicants must be 18 years of age or younger.
- Applicants must live in Missouri.
- Applicants must be part of a household that meets income criteria.
- Applicants must be a citizen or a legal immigrant.
The children’s Medicaid program covers pregnant women and infants so expectant mothers or those with newborns should enroll in that program instead of the CHIP program. When you apply for CHIP in Missouri, you will have to show documentation that proves your identity, Social Security number, income source and immigration/citizenship status. Lying or giving false information on the MO CHIP application is a form of benefits fraud and is a criminal offense. All of those applying for CHIP benefits or any other type of government program should only give accurate information during the application process.
What services are covered by CHIP in Missouri?
The Children’s Health Insurance Program in Missouri aims to keep children healthy by providing them with access to affordable health care. Because of this, services covered by CHIP in MO include most types of medically necessary and preventative care, such as:
- Emergency care.
- Hospital stays.
- Doctor’s visits.
- Prescription medication.
- Dental care.
- Vision care.
- Certain medical equipment like inhalers or wheelchairs.
- Physical, occupational and speech therapy.
While CHIP is not considered Medicaid, those on Medicaid have access to the same services listed above. However, those enrolled in Medicaid will have additional Medicaid services such as non-emergency medical transport covered as well. To learn more about services covered by CHIP and Medicaid, you can download our free guide.
How to Apply for CHIP in Missouri
Learning how to apply for CHIP in Missouri is a simple process. The fastest way to apply is to apply online. The state of Missouri’s portal will allow you to check your eligibility, enroll in CHIP and get more information about the program and other government benefits programs. Those who do not want to apply for CHIP online can instead obtain a paper application at their local Missouri Department of Social Services office. MO Medicaid for children and other medical programs can be applied to in a similar way. The application process takes about 30 days to complete. You will be given notice of your enrollment status by documents sent in the mail.