CHIP and Children’s Medicaid

Frequently Asked Questions

Qualifying for CHIP and Children’s Medicaid

The screening tool on this website tells me that my kids might qualify for CHIP. Does that mean you’ll approve my application?
The only way we can tell if your children can get CHIP or Children’s Medicaid is by looking at the information you give us on your application form. You have to apply to be approved. Apply now online.
I’m divorced. The court says I am supposed to provide health insurance for my kids, but I don’t have a job. Can I apply for CHIP/Children’s Medicaid for my children?
Yes, if you live with the children at least half the time and provide for them, you can apply. To learn more, call 2-1-1. When you call, pick a language and then, press 2.
My children are 19 and 21 years old, but they still are full-time students. Can they still get CHIP coverage?
No. CHIP only covers children age 18 and younger. You might want to see what’s available through www.texashealthoptions.com. This is a site sponsored by the Texas Department of Insurance, and it has information for people looking for affordable health insurance.
My husband lost his job and is getting unemployment benefits. Can I apply for CHIP/Children’s Medicaid while he is on unemployment? If so, how do I send proof of that income with the application?
You can send us a copy of the letter the Texas Workforce Commission sent your husband telling him he would receive unemployment benefits. If he does not have that letter but you have online access to your unemployment debit account, you can print out a statement showing the amount deposited and how often it is deposited.
My children have health insurance but the premiums and co-payments are really expensive. Can I sign them up for CHIP/Children’s Medicaid?
CHIP is designed for children who do not have access to other health insurance. Your children might qualify if their current health insurance coverage costs more than 10% of the family’s gross income (the money you are paid before taxes and deductions). To learn more about CHIP/Children’s Medicaid, call 2-1-1. When you call, pick a language and then, press 2.
I’m 7 months pregnant. Can I apply for CHIP now so that when my baby is born she’ll be covered?
If you have other children you can apply at any time. If this is your first child, you can only apply now if you apply for the CHIP perinatal services. This is coverage for your unborn baby during your pregnancy and after birth. If you have health insurance that already covers your pregnancy, you can't get CHIP perinatal coverage. Otherwise, you can start working on your application now and send it to us after your baby is born. Apply now or ask for an application by calling 2-1-1. When you call, pick a language and then, press 2.
My children do not qualify for CHIP or Children’s Medicaid, but they need to see a doctor. What can I do?
You can dial 2-1-1 and find out if there are any services in your town that can help you. 2-1-1 has a long list of local services, both free and low-cost, for people in need. When you call, pick a language and then, press 1. You also can search online at www.211Texas.org. Click on “Search for Services.”
I’ve looked at the CHIP income guidelines and I know our income is too high to qualify for the program. Do you know what other options we have for getting low-cost health insurance for our kids?
You can get information about private heath insurance at the Texas Department of Insurance website, www.texashealthoptions.com. You can also call 1-800-252-3439 to ask them about other insurance options that might be available.

Questions about CHIP coverage

Would CHIP cover braces for my kids’ teeth?
No. Orthodontics (braces) are not covered by the CHIP/Children’s Medicaid program. Many other dental services are covered. Call your CHIP dental plan for information on what dental services are covered.
What if I want to change my child’s CHIP health plan? Can I do that?
The only times you are able to change your child’s CHIP medical or dental plans are:
  • Within the first 90 days from the time your child’s CHIP coverage starts;
  • When you renew your child’s CHIP coverage; or
  • If you move out of your CHIP service area.

Call CHIP/Children’s Medicaid toll-free at 1-800-964-2777.

I need dental insurance for my children. I noticed that CHIP has dental insurance, but also includes medical, which we do not need. Is there a way to get just the dental portion?
No. CHIP does not offer dental coverage as a separate plan.
My baby is due in 7 months. Does CHIP offer coverage for my unborn child?
Yes. CHIP perinatal coverage provides prenatal benefits for unborn babies and full CHIP coverage for babies’ first few months of life. Learn more, or call CHIP/Children’s Medicaid by dialing 2-1-1. When you call, pick a language and then, press 2.

Questions about Children's Medicaid coverage

If I have a question about my children’s Medicaid services, who would I call?
In most cases, you would call your child’s Medicaid medical or dental plan. There’s a list of the Medicaid health plans on the Questions about your benefits page of the HHSC website.
You also can learn more about Medicaid coverage at the MyChildrensMedicaid.org website.

Address Change

We have to move pretty often to find work. Can we take our kids' CHIP / Children's Medicaid coverage to other parts of the state?
Yes, there are medical and dental plans in all 254 counties in Texas that offer services through CHIP and Medicaid. You can see a list of medical and dental plans on this website.

Other

I applied for CHIP, but you denied my application. I think you were wrong in your decision. Is there a way I can appeal?
If you have a question, you can ask us to take another look at your application. Within 30 days of receiving the letter denying coverage, send us a letter telling us the reason you think we made a mistake. Your letter must be in writing, and it must be signed. Your request cannot be made over the phone. Please send your letter to:
HHSC
P.O. Box 149023
Austin, TX 78714-9023
Or you can fax your letter to 1-855-671-6038.
I know someone on CHIP, but I’m sure the family makes way more than the CHIP income limit. Who can check into that?
If you suspect fraud of the CHIP or Children’s Medicare programs, please call the HHSC Office of the Inspector General toll-free at 1-800-436-6184. You can also report waste, fraud, or abuse on the HHSC Office of the Inspector General website.

Apply Online

Go to YourTexasBenefits.com and start your application for CHIP and Children's Medicaid

Apply Now