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Office on Disability

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

Question:  What is SCHIP? 

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 created a new children's health insurance program called the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This program gives each state permission to offer health insurance for children, up to age 19, who are not already insured. SCHIP is a state administered program and each state sets its own guidelines regarding eligibility and services.

SCHIP is designed to provide coverage to "targeted low-income children." A "targeted low-income child" is one who resides in a family with income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) or whose family has an income 50% higher than the state's Medicaid eligibility threshold. Some states have expanded SCHIP eligibility beyond the 200% FPL limit, and others are covering entire families and not just children.

Families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid may be able to qualify for SCHIP.  Families that do not currently have health insurance are likely to be eligible, even if you are working. The states have different eligibility rules, but in most states, uninsured children under the age of 19, whose families earn up to $36,200 a year (for a family of four) are eligible. For little or no cost, this insurance pays for:

  • doctor visits
  • immunizations
  • hospitalizations
  • emergency room visits


For contact information for your state or to read specific information regarding eligibility in your state, select your state from the list of states in the SCHIP State Programs section.

Click the URL below for SCHIP information by state/territory/tribe


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