Medical Insurance for Kids – Overview
Health insurance is a must for access to prompt and effective medical treatments. This is especially true when the cost of medical treatments keeps rising significantly. Today, almost every small and large enterprise provides health insurance policies for employees. Some of these are federal or state-funded and subsidized insurance policies while others are more expensive and elaborate private health insurance plans. However, there are times and situations when your insurance policy may lapse or fail to provide cover for treatment of your kid’s health disorder. Additionally, a lack of insurance policy for kids may even incur fines for the parents in many states.
In such cases, it is highly recommended to be prepared with medical insurance for kids.
Best Medical Insurance for Kids
There are numerous state-subsidized and private insurance companies that offer medical insurance for kids at affordable prices. Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, and other commercial health insurance policies are highly popular. Let’s take a good look at these top medical insurance for kids:
Medicaid and CHIP
Medicaid is a federal-state-funded health coverage program and is extremely helpful for low-income families with small children, especially those with special care needs. CHIP, short for Children’s Health Insurance Program, is also funded jointly by state and federal governments. This initiative provides health insurance coverage for kids and pregnant women who do not qualify for Medicaid or have access to affordable private health insurance policies.
Medicaid and CHIP make sure that children receive prompt and regular check-ups and ensure affordable visits to pediatricians and physicians whenever required. According to reports, around 40% of Medicaid enrollees are children yet they account for less than 20% of Medicaid spending. Over a period of one year, Medicaid helps around 35.5 million children with affordable healthcare services. Additionally, around 9.7 million children in the US rely on CHIP for access to affordable healthcare in a year.
Other Options for Medical Insurance for Kids
Apart from CHIP and Medicaid, several other types of comprehensive health insurance policies are available for children. Children, especially those belonging to low-income households are more vulnerable to succumb to severe health problems due to lack of health insurance coverage.
If for any reason, you and your child do not qualify for medical insurance cover under Medicaid or CHIP, then you can find out more about:
Employer-sponsored insurance (ESI)
Employer-sponsored insurance offers employees the freedom to choose the benefits they can enjoy under the chosen health insurance policy. Several states have also mandated a list of common and some rare medical disorders whose treatments are also covered with private employer-sponsored health insurance policies.
Exchanges have been authorized under the Affordable Care Act as the marketplace for purchasing affordable health insurance policies. Families who choose to buy health insurance packages through Exchanges are also eligible for receiving financial assistance in some cases.
Health insurance plans bought through the Exchange should cover specific benefits, such as behavioral or pediatric health care. In addition, the provider network must also include satisfactory numbers and types of healthcare providers.
TRICARE is a health insurance initiative run by the Department of Defense (DOD) and is offered to active service members and their families, including their children. Although TRICARE is significantly comprehensive and offers healthcare cover similar to Medicare its benefits for children are not on par with those provided by Medicaid or CHIP.
How to choose the best Medical Insurance for Kids?
As mentioned above, there are several options to choose for medical insurance for kids. You can easily access www.healthcare.gov to get detailed information on eligibility criteria and application process here, or you can choose to call the dedicated phone number and even contact them via email. Simply visit the website and fill the form after downloading it from the internet.
However, before filling out the online application, you will be asked to create an account on www.healthcare.gov or the insurance marketplace provided by your state. At the time of applying, you will need to keep in hand the following documents:
- Social security numbers (for US citizens)
- Document numbers (for illegal immigrants)
- Employers and income information
- Policy numbers of any existing health insurance policy
If you have access to employer-sponsored insurance but are not satisfied with it, then you can choose to get coverage through any of the various options provided on healthcare.gov. However, to do this, you will first need to fill a form titled “Employer Coverage Tool” which can be found on healthcare.gov.
You only need to fill in basic information, such as the child’s name, your home address, email and phone number, along with answering a few questions relating to your citizenship, dependents and if you have plans to file a federal income tax return the next year.
Once you sign up for the chosen plan and pay the first month’s premium, you and/or your child can immediately start getting the benefits of the insurance policy.
Medical insurance for kids is extremely essential for any family if they want to ensure prompt, effective and affordable medical treatment for their kids. The variety of options makes it easy for almost everyone, irrespective of their financial status, to buy and enjoy health insurance benefits for kids.