More Texas Children Now Eligible for Health Insurance - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

More Texas Children Now Eligible for Health Insurance

Claudia Stravato, CEO of Planned Parenthood in Amarillo. Claudia Stravato, CEO of Planned Parenthood in Amarillo.

More children may now be eligible for health insurance, under an expanding program aimed at lower-income families. 

Children's Health Insurance Program or CHIP provides insurance for families who make more money to be considered for Medicaid, but cannot afford private health plans. 

"They can get a complete physical, they can get dental, what it does is keep children out of the NorthWest Texas emergency room," said Claudia Stravato, CEO of Planned Parenthood in Amarillo.

Planned Parenthood works with families who use CHIP as their medical insurance.

Starting Saturday, a new law in Texas restores many of the eligibility restrictions placed on CHIP in 2003.  Parents can now enroll in the program every 12 months, instead of every six. The law also does away with the 90-day wait period for most children, and increases the amount of assets a family can have. 

The expansion of the program, however, faces a roadblock. Congress voted to raise the amount of money allocated to CHIP by $50 billion, but the president has vowed to veto that increase.

Still, parents are being encouraged to re-apply for CHIP if they were denied in the past.

"For your child's sake please try to get your child covered while there's some leniency in the program," said Stravato.

If you want to sign up, you can download an application at www.chipmedicaid.org

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