CHIP in Georgia
Georgia enacted the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1998 as a way to help children in need. The Georgia CHIP program is designed for children from low-income families if they meet certain requirements. CHIP allows families to provide low-cost health care coverage to their children without having to apply through the Medicaid program. Even if adults in a family lack Medicaid eligibility children from that family may be able to get CHIP benefits. Since Medicaid and CHIP are very similar programs, many residents often ask, “What is CHIP Medicaid?” or “Is CHIP considered Medicaid in Georgia?” when they first hear about the program. Continue reading to find out how to apply for CHIP coverage in Georgia and who is eligible to enroll.
What is CHIP Medicaid in Georgia?
Georgia petitioners must understand the difference between the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid for children before applying for enrollment in one of the programs, as each may have different costs, cover different services and have different eligibility requirements. Medicaid is for those with very low incomes, the elderly or those with disabilities. CHIP is for children of families with low incomes that are not low enough to warrant Medicaid coverage. For this reason, CHIP is not Medicaid for children, as CHIP is an extension of the Medicaid program, not Medicaid itself. The Children’s Health Insurance Program in Georgia is locally called PeachCare for Kids.
For more details about the difference between Medicaid and CHIP, download our comprehensive guide.
Who is eligible for Georgia CHIP?
While the requirements for CHIP and Medicaid enrollment may be very similar in Georgia, there are some unique requirements for only the CHIP program. Those who want to learn how to apply for PeachCare for Kids will need to distinguish the eligibility differences between the programs. Those who can enroll in Georgia CHIP must:
- Be 18 years of age or younger.
- Be a United States citizen or legal immigrant.
- Live in Georgia.
- Come from families that meet particular income guidelines.
The income standards for CHIP will vary due to household size. If the child or adult family member has attempted to enroll in Medicaid in the past but was denied, then the child will still be able to apply for PeachCare for Kids.
Pregnant women are not eligible for Georgia CHIP enrollment even though other states allow expectant mothers to receive CHIP benefits. Instead, pregnant women who are in need of low-cost health care can apply for Medicaid. CHIP eligible children will not be able to stay enrolled after their 19th birthday but they may apply for Medicaid coverage once they are 19 years of age.
How To Apply For CHIP in Georgia
There are many ways to apply for CHIP benefits in Georgia, including online, by phone, in person and by mail. Applying for PeachCare for Kids online is the easiest way. This can be accomplished by logging on to the online system created and managed by the state of Georgia. Children with Medicaid eligibility or CHIP eligibility can apply through this system. Other benefits program managed by the state can be applied for on this site as well. For those who prefer not to use the internet for their CHIP application, the second easiest method is by phone by calling the program’s call center.
To complete Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollment in person, you can print a copy of the application and turn it in to one of the Division of Family and Children Services offices located around the state. These offices also have copies of the application on site so you can fill out the application is person if you prefer. You can apply for CHIP by mail by sending your application to the address listed on the application
What is covered by CHIP Medicaid in Georgia?
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Georgia covers many important and preventative services. Knowing what is covered by CHIP can help parents and caretakers manage health care expenses. The types of medical services covered include:
- Doctor’s visits
- Emergency room visits
- Dental care
- Mental health care
- Vision exams and corrective lenses
Many more services can be covered if deemed medically necessary. However, there may be a limit to how many treatments can be received in a given time period. For example, CHIP enrolled children will only be able to have one eye exam per year. If more eye exams are necessary, then the child’s family may have to pay for these services. Generally speaking, services covered by CHIP and Medicaid are almost identical. The only main difference will be that children on Medicaid who have disabilities may receive more coverage for treatments that pertain to their particular medical situation.
Medicaid and CHIP enrollment may offer similar services, but CHIP does not completely cover all health care free of charge. There will be an affordable premium that the children’s family will have to pay every month to remain enrolled in the program. This amount will depend on the age of the child enrolled, the number of children enrolled in CHIP from one family and the family’s income level.
Download our free guide for more details about covered health care services by program.
Additional Georgia CHIP Information
As mentioned above, if a family in Georgia does not have Medicaid eligibility, children from that household may still be able to receive CHIP benefits. However, some families may earn too much for both CHIP and Medicaid enrollment. There are other options for those who may be struggling to pay for health insurance, including receiving subsidized health coverage from the health care exchange. It is recommended that you understand your eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP and other health care options before you apply.