CHIP in Washington

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Every year, the Washington Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) facilitates access to crucial health services for thousands of children living in low-income households. WA CHIP offers subsidized coverage for many medical services like immunizations, laboratory exams and dental cleanings for children whose families make too little money to purchase health insurance plans directly from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Many often wonder, “Is CHIP considered Medicaid?” because of the close ties between the Washington CHIP and Medicaid programs; in fact, many states currently provide CHIP as an expansion of their Medicaid offerings, or by combining a Medicaid expansion with a separate CHIP program. Washington, however, has been one of the few states to provide its CHIP service completely through a separate program, which falls under its Apple Health for Kids initiative. Learn more about the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Washington, including details about the application process and eligibility requirements, in the sections below.

Washington CHIP Overview

The WA Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is available through Apple Health for Kids, a service administered by the Washington State Health Care Authority. Known also as Medicaid for children, Apple Health for Kids provides subsidized CHIP and children’s Medicaid for those living in low-income households. It administers both CHIP and Medicaid for children whose household incomes fall under certain thresholds. However, although Medicaid for kids in Washington is technically funded separately from the WA Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the two are housed under Apple Health for Kids, which simply imposes different income requirements for each program.

Many often wonder, “What is covered by CHIP Medicaid in Washington?” when they think about CHIP and Medicaid for kids. Those enrolled in CHIP and Medicaid coverage through Apple Health for Kids will receive substantial help paying for services like doctor visits, lab tests, X-rays, immunizations, hospital stays, emergency services and much more. Additionally, the Washington CHIP program also covers mental, vision and dental services for its enrollees. Since CHIP and Medicaid enrollment is open year-round, those interested in applying for their children do not need to wait for particular open enrollment periods; they may submit applications and enroll in Apple Health for Kids at any time.

To learn more about Medicaid for children and CHIP benefits, download our free guide.

What is CHIP Medicaid in Washington?

The question, “What are CHIP and Medicaid in Washington?” is not an easy one to answer. Although CHIP and Medicaid coverage in Washington are technically funded separately, the two programs are offered through the same overarching service, Apple Health for Kids. This organization of services can seem confusing, but it actually offers residents the benefit of not having to worry about whether they qualify for one program versus the other. Since both the WA CHIP program and Medicaid fall under the Apple Health umbrella, those seeking enrollment in CHIP and Medicaid only need to learn how to apply for benefits via one application. The Washington Health Authority will then automatically consider applicants for both programs depending on their household incomes. All children will receive CHIP or Medicaid coverage for the same medical, mental, dental and vision services, regardless of the program for which they qualify. The only difference for prospective enrollees is that families with higher incomes need to pay premiums and copayments, whereas those with lower incomes will receive free or very low-cost coverage for their children.

Washington CHIP Eligibility

To enroll in the WA Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), children must meet the same eligibility requirements as with Medicaid for kids, with the added requirement that they must live in households making too much money to qualify for Medicaid. To meet CHIP and Medicaid eligibility children must be U.S. citizens or qualified aliens, residents of Washington and younger than 19 years of age. For those children living in households with incomes at or below 210 percent of the Federal Poverty Line, coverage may be available for free; however, households with incomes between 210 percent and 312 percent of the Federal Poverty Line may be subject to low monthly premiums and co-payments. To determine CHIP or Medicaid coverage eligibility, however, interested residents should simply apply, as actual income limit standards may vary.

How to Apply for CHIP in Washington

For those unsure about the CHIP application process, Washington offers multiple avenues for enrolling in CHIP or Medicaid benefits year-round through Apple Health for Kids. These options include applying online, by phone, by fax, by mail or in person. When applying for coverage under CHIP or Medicaid, petitioners will need their Social Security Numbers or immigration documentation numbers, birthdates and income information. Enrollment in Medicaid or CHIP for successful applicants will begin on the first day of the month in which the application was submitted. Online applications for health care coverage can be found on the Washington state government’s official website. There, petitioners are also able to print physical applications, which they can send to the following address:

Washington Healthplanfinder
P.O. Box 946
Olympia, Washington 98507

Those interested in applying by phone should simply call the Washington Healthplanfinder line. To apply in person, petitioners can find resources near them using the Health Benefit Exchange Navigator. To learn more about CHIP benefits and the application process, download our guide.