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When you have children, anxiety over getting a good health plan for them can be great. You may not be sure what options are available or if you can afford to ensure every member of your family, regardless of age.
But in fact, there are affordable health insurance policies designed exclusively for children or that will also cover kids. Here are your 4 main options.
1. A CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) Plan
If you qualify for CHIP, and your state has a program for it, then you can get 100% free health coverage for children up to the age of 18 or 19. Actually, if your income is even lower, you would get your child insured through Medicaid instead. If you earn too much to get Medicaid but still can't afford an ACA plan, CHIP is where you need to go for coverage.
Each state has its own eligibility standards for CHIP, but it is for relatively low-income households. And you can enroll anytime, not just during an open or special enrollment period as with regular "adult" health insurance.
2. An ACA-compliant Plan With Subsidies
If you don't qualify for Medicaid or CHIP for your child, then the next option is an ACA marketplace plan with government subsidies. Whether you qualify for subsidized coverage and/or how big of a subsidy you would get depend on household size, income, and other factors.
An experienced health insurance agent can tell you if you would qualify and how much to expect.
To get a subsidy, you have to buy a silver-level plan or higher, which is going to cover at least 70% of most healthcare expenses. Pre-existing conditions will be covered, and prescription drugs are covered too.
3. A Family Health Insurance Plan
If you don't qualify for any subsidies or for a significant one, or if you just prefer a different plan, a health insurance agent can help you find the best one for your child.
Many times, you can put the whole family on the same health plan for a big discount. In that case, pay special attention to the individual (per person) deductibles versus the overall (combined) deductible. And be sure you have enough coverage for the likely annual health expenses of your entire family in order to save maximally on out-of-pocket costs.
4. A Short-term Health Plan For Kids
If you've missed open enrollment, don't qualify for special enrollment, and have a child who doesn't qualify for Medicaid or CHIP insurance, then a short-term health plan may be your best option for 2020. Going without health coverage is not generally a good idea.
A short-term plan can cover your child anywhere from a month to a year, depending on what your state allows. It will protect you against catastrophic illnesses and injuries, but it may require higher premiums to cover preexisting conditions - if it covers them at all. Although not as ideal as a full-fledged health plan, short-term policies are a lot better than nothing.
For more information on your options as to getting health insurance coverage for your kid/kids, contact the experienced health insurance agents at Summerlin Benefits Consulting for a free consultation!