Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is medical insurance for children age 18 and younger. It is an “in-between” program for families who make too much for Medicaid but can’t get or afford other health insurance. CHIP has low costs for many families.
You might want to learn more about CHIP if:
Read our section on Insurance and Financial Help to learn more about insurance options for your family. If your child is a young adult or almost age 18, our page on Funding and Services From Age 18 can help.
CHIP is a health insurance program that covers many different medical and dental services for your child. It includes many of the same services as Medicaid does.
The CHIP program is for children ages 18 years and younger who live in Texas and are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. (In some cases, CHIP can cover children up to 20 years old).
To see if your child can get CHIP, the program asks about other insurance and your family’s income. You can use this benefits screening tool to see if your child might be able to get CHIP or your family might be able to get other benefits.
For children who had private insurance before applying for CHIP, there is a 90-day waiting period before they can get CHIP. But the CHIP program might skip that waiting period for many reasons, including for children with disabilities and special health care needs.
CHIP does have costs. They are based on family income—how much money your family makes in a year from jobs and benefits. The costs for CHIP can vary. It might cost your family $50 a year or less. Copays—the amount you pay for a doctor’s visit or treatment—and prescription costs are from $3 to $35 each, depending on your family’s income.