TypesThere are two basic types of assistance in Minnesota for children under the age of 19. Minnesota Children with Special Health Needs offers health insurance to disabled children and children with other special health needs. Federal programs also exist, the most common being Medicaid. The other federal program available is the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
FunctionState programs in Minnesota may help to offset the cost of health insurance. For example, Minnesota Children with Special Health Needs provides coverage for children who may need hearing aids or have hearing problems, children who are mentally retarded, or children with psychological disorders which require treatment.
The State Children's Health Insurance Program and Medicaid provide health insurance to children and families with children as long as they meet certain income requirements. Children less than 19 years of age will get full health insurance coverage if their income is up to 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. SCHIP may extend coverage for children under 19 up to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The premiums under SCHIP will vary according to the family's income level.
SignificanceBy providing children under age 19 with health insurance through State programs, they will be able to receive health care services that would be unaffordable without insurance. Families can receive routine health exams and treatment for illnesses for their children.
BenefitsBy providing health insurance coverage or assistance for children under 19, the State of Minnesota allows families with children and/or children who could not otherwise afford health insurance to have insurance, or at least have subsidized insurance, depending on their income level.
Another benefit of these programs is that children often are unable to afford insurance by paying for it out of their own pocket, so this offers a way for those children who may not be living at home to have health insurance if they need it.