What Is CHIP? The Children's Health Program May Run Out Of Funding Soon

It was made clear this past week that the fight for expansive and affordable health care is far from over. And although the Affordable Care Act remains in place, children's health care in particular could still be in jeopardy. If you don't know what CHIP is, then you might want to find out soon, because this critical health program for children could be obsolete in the near future.

CHIP, which has been in place since 1997, stands for the Children's Health Insurance Program and it does just that — provides health insurance to children whose parents have incomes that are too high to qualify for Medicaid, but too low to qualify for anything else. Each state offers CHIP to its own residents (some CHIP benefits cover pregnant women as well), so each state sets different rules about who qualifies for it.

According to, all states are required to provide comprehensive coverage to children with CHIP, which includes routine check ups, immunizations, visits to the doctor, prescriptions, dental and vision care, inpatient and hospital care, lab and x-ray services, and even trips to the emergency room. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, CHIP has been linked to better quality care from doctors and positive effects on the children who receive it.

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