For almost 20 years, the Nebraska Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has helped many children access affordable health coverage. NE CHIP is designed for children who do not meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid, but cannot otherwise afford health insurance. Medicaid for children and the CHIP program are not the same, even though they are similar in nature. Those who want to apply to the program may be asking themselves, “What is CHIP Medicaid?” and, “Is CHIP considered Medicaid?” as they are researching the program. Get the answers to those questions and learn what is covered by CHIP Medicaid by reading the rest of the information below.
What is Nebraska’s Children’s Health Insurance Program?
All 50 states have a version of the CHIP program, but it can be managed differently. Some states allow you to apply for both programs at the same time, while others do not. That is why is it important to know how CHIP and Medicaid enrollment is managed in Nebraska.
The factors of Medicaid eligibility children cannot meet are typically satisfied under CHIP in NE. Once enrolled, recipients will be able to choose whichever health care providers they would like to go to, as long as the providers are in-network with CHIP. It is important for all CHIP and Medicaid enrollees to see in-network providers, as out-of-network services may not be covered by the program. Certain services may come with copays for CHIP enrollees.
Download our free guide to read more about both the CHIP and Medicaid programs.
Is CHIP Considered Medicaid in Nebraska?
Nebraska Children’s Health Insurance Program is not considered Medicaid, but it is an extension of the program. This is how Medicaid-ineligible children are able to receive CHIP coverage. Individuals with very low incomes or individuals with disabilities are covered by Medicaid. Children whose families earn too much for Medicaid may be enrolled in CHIP. A big difference between the two programs is that Medicaid services for eligible children are covered by the program, whereas CHIP beneficiaries will usually have to pay small premiums and copayments for services.
Who qualifies for CHIP in Nebraska?
Due to the fact that CHIP is not Medicaid, CHIP will have different eligibility requirements than Medicaid. Learning how to apply for CHIP should be reserved for those who meet the following criteria:
- Applicants must be younger than age 19
- Applicants must not have health coverage or Medicaid benefits
- Applicants must be citizens of the U.S. or legal aliens
- Applicants must meet income requirements for the program
CHIP enrollment also factors in household size when looking at an applicant’s household income. Those with larger families will have higher income requirements while smaller families will have lower income requirements. Pregnant women with Medicaid eligibility can proceed with reviewing how to apply for Nebraska Medicaid. Newborns and infants can be eligible for both CHIP and Medicaid, depending on their family’s circumstance. When applying for CHIP coverage, you will have to prove that you are eligible by showing identity, citizenship and income documentation. Lying on the application or giving false documents during the CHIP or Medicaid enrollment process can result in criminal charges often including prison sentences.
What Services Are Covered By CHIP in Nebraska?
While children’s Medicaid is not the same as CHIP, both programs cover very similar medical services. The following services are covered by CHIP benefits:
- Check-ups and doctor’s visits
- Hospital visits
- Emergency room services and transportation
- Immunization shots
- Prescription medication
- X-rays and laboratory work
- Medical devices and equipment, like inhalers and wheelchairs
CHIP in Nebraska can cover more services than those listed above. Both Medicaid for children and CHIP will only cover medically valid treatments. Experimental and alternative medical treatments will most likely not be covered by medical assistance benefits. There will also be limits on how many services or treatments a beneficiary can receive per year. For example, a physical check-up will only be covered once every 12 months. If CHIP or Medicaid enrollees need additional services in that time period, their families will have to cover the costs of those medical services. In addition, the Children’s Medicaid program and Medicaid for adults may cover other services that are not covered by CHIP, such as medical transport to and from non-emergency medical appointments.
How to Apply For CHIP in Nebraska
Applying for CHIP in Nebraska is simple. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services manages ACCESSNebraska accounts. These accounts allow you to apply to CHIP and other government programs. The CHIP application and important documents that will verify your eligibility can be submitted on an ACCESSNebraska account. Those who cannot apply to CHIP online can do so via phone. You can also call to ask questions about the CHIP and Medicaid programs. If important personal information, such as your income level and your address has changed, you are obligated to update this information with the Department of Health and Human Services.
After CHIP enrollment is complete, beneficiaries will be given three different health plans to choose from, and this will give them further information on what services and medical providers will be covered by CHIP. Read more about CHIP coverage by downloading our guide.