Improve academic results through access to health care coverage

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With each school year, parents dust off the annual checklists that help them organize their needs as their children return to the classroom. This school season, make sure that one of the most important priorities on your to-do list is to make sure your children have health insurance.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, studies have shown that children who have medical coverage miss fewer classes and perform better in school than those without insurance. With adequate medical coverage, children can receive vaccinations, medical and eye exams, dental consultations and preventive care they may need to participate fully in school and continue to participate in both the classroom and during activities extracurricular Health coverage can also be beneficial when a child is sick or injured.

In fact, millions of children and adolescents already qualify for free or low-cost medical coverage, including dental coverage, through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These programs can help those who qualify to get the benefits they need to excel in the classroom.

To help ensure that their children pass grade, parents must first do their homework in terms of health coverage. To make sure you have evaluated your coverage options, consider these questions and answers about health care coverage:

What do Medicaid and CHIP cover?

Medicaid and CHIP offer comprehensive coverage throughout the country for children and adolescents who qualify. This includes routine checkups, doctor visits, prescriptions and immunizations, dental and vision care, and emergency services, all at low cost or no cost to you or your family.

How can I find out if my child is eligible?

In most states, children and adolescents up to 19 years of age are eligible to enroll. Depending on their income, many families qualify for free or low-cost medical coverage.

Once enrolled, how long is my child eligible to receive coverage?

Children and teens can stay covered for as long as they qualify. You will have to renew your coverage once a year.

How can I sign up?

You can sign up online, by phone, by mail, or in person with your state’s Medicaid or CHIP agency, or you can visit the “Search for coverage for your family” section on For more information, call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669).

When can I request registration?

Since there is no special open enrollment period for Medicaid or CHIP, you can enroll at any time.

For more information and to know the coverage options available to you and your family, visit or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669).

Information provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.