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Learn About CHIP in Tennessee

Tennessee Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a program intended to assist Tennessee households with covering the cost of healthcare for children. CHIP in TN covers a wide range of medical services. “Is CHIP considered Medicaid?” is a common question most people have when researching assistance to cover healthcare costs. While both programs provide similar services, they are not the same. CHIP and Medicaid enrollment represent two separate programs that help Tennessee’s children in different ways. Find more information on Tennessee CHIP eligibility requirements and application guidelines in the sections below.

What is Tennessee CHIP?

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Tennessee is a program specifically targeted toward families who do not qualify for Medicaid in Tennessee, but still require assistance paying for their children’s healthcare expenses. The Children’s Health Insurance Program in the state of Tennessee takes on the name CoverKids, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee administers the benefits. There are no monthly premiums involved with CoverKids. However, people receiving CHIP benefits in TN are typically responsible for paying copays. TN CHIP copays are generally much lower than those of private insurance providers. The copays a CoverKids recipient is responsible for paying depends on his or her household income, and can fall into one of three benefit levels.

Is CHIP considered Medicaid?

“What is CHIP Medicaid?” is a question that many low-income Tennessee families may ask. Calling the program CHIP Medicaid, however, can give the impression that CHIP is a type of Medicaid coverage program, and this can cause confusion when you are trying to apply for benefits. CHIP and Medicaid enrollment actually deal with two separate programs that have different requirements and procedures. Medicaid for children in Tennessee goes by the name TennCare, and is usually available to families whose household incomes are at or below 211 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). To learn more about requirements, download our free guide. Tennessee’s Children’s Health Insurance Program is called CoverKids, and provides coverage to children in households that earn above the limits for TennCare and below 250 percent of the FPL. Medicaid eligibility needs to be verified monthly, whereas CoverKids eligibility only needs to be verified once a year.

What is covered by CHIP Medicaid in Tennessee?

You may wonder about what is covered by CHIP Medicaid in Tennessee after you have determined whether your children may qualify for this service. TN CHIP focuses on preventative care for children, so that any health issues are diagnosed and treated before they turn into major health crises. Preventative care helps keep your children healthy in the long term. In addition to preventative care, CHIP TN services include doctor and hospital visits, as well as vaccinations and regular health screenings. If needed, your children can also receive mental health, vision and dental care through Tennessee’s CoverKids program. Download our guide to review more services typically covered by CHIP.

Who qualifies for CHIP in Tennessee?

The factors that impact Medicaid eligibility children do not meet may mean they can qualify for CHIP in Tennessee, which is known as CoverKids. To qualify for TN CHIP, children must be younger than 19 years of age at the time of application. The children must be residents of Tennessee, as well as United States citizens or legal aliens. Children cannot currently be enrolled in any other health insurance coverage, including TennCare. If you are applying for CHIP in Tennessee on behalf of a child, you must be the primary guardian of that child, and that child must reside within your household. A child’s preexisting condition plays no role in determining his or her CoverKids eligibility. Lastly, your total household income must be at or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) to obtain benefits through CoverKids.

Tennessee Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is also available to pregnant women who are currently residents of the state of Tennessee. Tennessee CHIP for pregnant woman is also called CoverKids. To qualify for CHIP in Tennessee, pregnant women have to meet many of the same eligibility requirements as children, including having household incomes at or below 250 percent of the FPL. Pregnant women do not have to be citizens or legal aliens to qualify for CoverKids, however. Furthermore, a pregnant women can qualify for Tennessee CHIP if she already has health insurance coverage, provided that her existing coverage does not include maternity care.

How to Apply for CHIP in Tennessee

Applications for Tennessee Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for children or pregnant women can be completed online on the national health insurance marketplace website or via phone. Pregnant women can also apply for TN CHIP in person at local health department centers. Pregnant women can also complete paper applications and fax them with signed cover pages. The paper application can also be mailed to:

P.O. Box 305230
Nashville, TN 37230

Once approved, you will begin to receive your CHIP TN benefits on the date that your completed and signed application is received. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee will then send you a welcome kit that includes your CoverKids insurance card. As soon as your coverage begins, you will be required to complete a Blue Cross Blue Shield mini health appraisal. Download our guide to read more information about CHIP medical coverage.