ST. GEORGE — As the world of health care changes with the opening of the federal Healthcare Marketplace, Utah’s Avenue H and expanding Medicaid and CHIP programs, the Utah Department of Health is anticipating an increase in the number of children insured through such programs.
Kolbi Young, Utah Department of Health spokesperson, said the eligibility requirements for Medicaid and CHIP for children have expanded income limits for parents, so more children will be able to qualify for health insurance under the programs.
CHIP in Utah insures about 35,000 children, but that number will change as the Medicaid expansion takes place, Young said.
The asset test for parents is also no longer a requirement for CHIP and Medicaid, which means more children will likely qualify for Medicaid coverage rather than CHIP, Young said.
“It is anticipated that both Medicaid and CHIP will see an increase in participation,” she said. “Between the drop of the asset test and the income limit expansion, it is making it possible for more families to qualify.”
CHIP provides Utah families who earn 200 percent or more of the poverty rate with subsidized health care for their children, Young said. That equates to about $47,100 per year for a family of four. Medicaid income limits have expanded to 133 percent of the poverty rate, or about $31,322 per year.