Are you looking for quality affordable health insurance coverage for your children? Many families find themselves struggling to afford health insurance coverage for their children in these difficult economic times. The Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP), Louisiana’s implementation of the federal State Children’s Health Insurance (known as SCHIP), provides health insurance coverage for children who meet income and other eligibility requirements. The Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program covers all medical needs, including regular doctor visits, hospital visits, dental and vision, laboratory tests, and immunizations, among others. There are some important points to understand and consider if you are seeking low cost quality health insurance coverage through the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program for your children:
The LaCHIP Program is divided into two programs: the no-cost program and the affordable program. To qualify for coverage under either program, the child must be under the age of 19 and live in Louisiana. There is no waiting period for children to qualify for the no-cost plan, but families who voluntarily terminate their insurance coverage must wait one year before their children would be eligible for the Affordable Plan. To qualify for the no-cost LaCHIP program, the family’s income cannot exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level. This is about $3,675 per month for a family of four. Families who earn more than this amount may still qualify for the no cost plan by claiming deductions to their income. Deductions are available for child care costs, child support, and some educational costs. For families with higher income levels, Louisiana offers the LaCHIP Affordable Plan, which is for families who earn up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level, about $4594 per month for a family of four.
There are no costs associated with the LaCHIP no-cost plan. However, there are some costs associated with the LaCHIP Affordable Plan, including a $50 monthly premium per family, and co-payments for medical visits. There is no deductible except a $200 mental health deductible. There is a yearly maximum out of pocket expense for co-payments, which is called at 5% of the family’s gross annual income.
How to Apply
There are several ways to apply for the LaCHIP Program. You can apply online at https://bhsfweb.dhh.louisiana.gov/OlaPortalPublic/Public/public.aspx. You can also request an application at 1-877-2LaCHIP (1-877-252-2447), and there is staff available during regular business hours to assist you with your application. You can also print out a paper application at http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/offices/page.asp?id=92&detail=8377 that you can complete and mail in. You can also visit your regional Medicaid office or a Medicaid application center to pick up an application or apply in person. You can find links to lists of these sites at http://bhsfweb.dhh.louisiana.gov/LaChip/no-cost/apply.asp. However you choose to apply, make sure you follow all of the application instructions, sign your application, and submit all requested additional documentation.
For more Information
If you have questions, would like to request an application, or need further assistance, contact the LaCHIP Program at 1-877-2LaCHIP (1-877-252-2447), or visit their website at http://bhsfweb.dhh.louisiana.gov/LaChip/index.asp.