There are many ways to get health insurance coverage for children. If you already have health insurance, your kids are probably eligible for coverage under your plan until they reach age 26. However, if you have a plan that won’t cover your children, or if it would be a financial hardship to add your kids to your current plan, there are a few other ways to make sure your children get the insurance they need.
The good news is that there are now more health insurance options available for kids. Plus many insurers now pick up the cost of some preventive care for kids when an in-network healthcare provider is used. This can include services like annual checkups, vision screenings, and immunizations.
Also, children with existing health problems can’t be denied coverage, and insurance companies can’t charge higher premiums because of a child’s illness or health condition. This helps keep coverage affordable if your child requires frequent visits to a healthcare provider and/or needs prescription medications.
The Health Insurance Marketplace (sometimes known as an “exchange”) is an online shopping site for health insurance offered by the federal government. Some states also have their own exchanges. While many private insurance companies offer their own medical plans, you can compare insurance from many companies through a single source: eHealth.com, opens new window. All of the plans available in your area can be seen and purchased through the eHealth.com, opens new window website.
Financial assistance may be available to you in the form of income tax credits from the advance premium tax credit program, sometimes called APTC. These credits can help pay part of your premiums which makes your healthcare more affordable. Eligibility for this assistance is based on household size and income.
Your family may qualify for another special program called the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. This is a government-sponsored program that can provide health insurance for kids at a low rate, or sometimes free of charge.
To find out if you qualify for financial assistance or CHIP, visit the Healthcare.gov, opens new window website. Keep in mind, the requirements change every year based on federal guidelines. If you do not qualify now, you may qualify next year.
There is more you can do to save on healthcare insurance.
Thankfully there are several affordable health insurance plans available for children. Look into the options we’ve explained to find the right one for your family. Then you can be confident knowing you’ve taken action to help keep your kids healthy.
Remember that some medical insurance plans do not cover dental or vision care, which are extremely important for every child. You can help keep your child’s smile bright with dental insurance, opens new window.
To protect your child’s eyesight, you may also want to consider vision coverage, opens new window.