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July 12, 2024

How Children Can Receive Free or Low-Cost Preventive Care

Medicaid and CHIP benefits include vaccines, regular checkups, dental visits

Children are among the most vulnerable populations when it comes to measles and other highly contagious diseases. Giving babies the recommended vaccinations by age 2 is one of the best ways to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, including measles and whooping cough.

For many families, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can help cover these vaccines and provide free or low-cost health coverage to help keep kids healthy.

Measles is an extremely contagious virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune can also become infected.

During the first three months of 2019, 387 cases of measles were reported, more than the total cases reported for all of 2018. More than 20 states have reported measles cases.

Your child may be one of the millions of uninsured children that are eligible for free or low-cost health coverage through Medicaid and CHIP, which can allow your child to get vaccinated against measles and other serious childhood diseases. He or she can also receive benefits like regular checkups, dental visits, eye exams, emergency services, prescriptions, and other preventive care.

Parents with low to moderate incomes (up to nearly $50,000, or even higher in some states) may be able to enroll their children in Medicaid or CHIP. There’s no special open enrollment period; you can enroll your children at any time during the year. To enroll your children, you can apply in-person with your state’s Medicaid or CHIP agency, visit the “Find Coverage for Your Family” section on InsureKidsNow.gov or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669).

If you need vaccines immediately, contact your state or local health department’s Vaccines for Children program coordinator, or call the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) for assistance.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Family Features

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