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Tasmiha Khan's picture

Studies have shown that academic performance and health insurance go hand in hand. Children who have health coverage miss fewer classes and perform better in school than those who are uninsured. But health coverage doesn’t just benefit students. Fewer missed days of school also mean fewer missed days of work for parents. With health coverage, children can get the routine and emergency care, immunizations, check-ups, eye exams, dental visits and mental health services they may need to fully participate in school and extracurricular activities.

Nationwide, millions of school-aged children and teens qualify — and are enrolled — in free or lowcost health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). For families with children currently enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, this is also a good time to make sure their current mailing address, phone number, email, or other contact information is up-to-date with their state program. Many people move and forget to update their address. These families might accidently miss a letter about coverage from their state, including renewal information. Then, they could lose their health coverage too.

Medicaid and CHIP provide free or low-cost coverage for eligible children and teens up to age 19. Eligibility is dependent on household size and income. In most states, children whose family has income up to $50,000 per year (for a family of four) may qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. In many states, family income can be even higher and children can still qualify. Young people up to 21 may be eligible for Medicaid. Having Medicaid or CHIP will not afect someone’s chance of becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident or U.S. Citizen. It is not considered a “public charge” accept for people in long-term care facilities or institutions.

You can apply online, over the phone, by mail or in-person with your state’s Medicaid or CHIP agency or visit the “Find Coverage for Your Family” section on For more information, call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669). Enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP is open all year, and, once your child is enrolled, you need to renew their coverage every year to keep them covered.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided this information.

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