Children's health insurance program (CHIP)

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 as Title XXI of the Social Security Act. It permits states to expand children's health coverage to children whose family incomes exceed the requirements for Medicaid, but are insufficient to afford private insurance coverage.

The program makes approximately $4 billion a year in federal grants available to states to provide health coverage to children younger than 19 years of age with family incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Federal funds may be used to expand Medicaid, create a new, nonentitlement program, or implement a combination of these programs. As a result of the flexibility given to states under Title XXI, CHIP should be thought of primarily as a funding source, and not as a program per se.

Beginning July 1, 1998, Indiana implemented the first phase of CHIP as an expansion of Hoosier Healthwise to provide health coverage to children younger than the age of 19 with family incomes of no more than 150 percent of the federal poverty level.

In September 1999, an amendment to Indiana's original CHIP state plan was submitted to the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). The amendment requested authorization to implement the second phase of CHIP as a non-Medicaid, state-designed program that provides coverage to uninsured children younger than 19 years of age who are members of families with annual incomes greater than 150 percent of the federal poverty level and not more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. On December 22, 1999, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) authorized the amendment, and the program began January 1, 2000.

CHIP is administered through the Hoosier Healthwise program (package C), which provides coverage for children, pregnant women, and low-income families. To provide services to this population, you must be enrolled as a Hoosier Healthwise provider.

More Information

For more information, see the Hoosier Healthwise page on this site, or see the Member Eligibility and Benefit Coverage provider reference module, as well as other modules availabe on the Provider Reference Materials page.