Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming State Parenting Center

CHIP’s Anyone?

Anita- Cheyenne PIC Outreach Parent Liason

Anita- Cheyenne PIC Outreach Parent Liason

Since hard economic times have hit, the pervasive thought is a high probability that more families will fall within the federal guidelines of poverty than ever before. Therefore, I feel we will see a resurgence of home based care, homeopathic care, more elderly living at home and more seriously ill children being taken care of in the home. Our Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act of 2009 by a vote of 290-135, and President Obama signed it into law in a special White House ceremony on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009.


I hope that Wyoming will allocate more money to Children’s Health Care, because many of us feel that it is a much needed investment into the future. For those that are not aware Wyoming Kid Care CHIP offers health insurance coverage for Wyoming’s children and teens through age 19 that are uninsured and meet income and eligibility guidelines that are not eligible for Wyoming Equality Care (Medicaid).


When the CHIP program began in 1997, Wyoming children in families earning up to 133% of the federal poverty level were eligible. The upper limit currently is 200% of the poverty level but most are looking for at least a 50% bump with this new reauthorization to 250% of the federal poverty level. The CHIP program has been successful in helping to insure more children from target populations; however, despite this success the percentage of uninsured children from income brackets just outside of the current regulations increased from 1995-2005 and the trend looks to continue within our current economy.

Even though the CHIP program is great for those that qualify what about those that don’t and what about care givers of the children that qualify? How are we assisting their needs as well as the child’s?

I realize that there are numerous issues involved within our States’ Health Care system and we may only be able to fix small portions at a time but perhaps we should attack this issue sooner rather than later especially with our president’s latest agenda in hand.





Comments on: "CHIP’s Anyone?" (10)

  1. Anita,

    Great information!

    How great, do you think, is the awareness of CHIP and Equality Care to the average family here in Wyoming?

    Is there a consensus that there are families that would benefit from these programs that are unaware of their exsistence?

    Is there any kind of stigma attached to families using these programs?

    • Equality Care = (Medicaid) Or Title 19.
      With Kid Care CHIP, qualified parents are able to get low-cost insurance for their children to
      cover vision, dental, inpatient services, hospitalization, prescriptions and more until they reach the age of 19.
      Wyoming Children’s Special Health (CSH) is a program for children with special healthcare needs requiring something beyond routine and basic care. Our goal is to help your child receive the best possible medical care. CSH provides payment for specialty medical care and coordination of care for children with special health care needs.

      I think the awareness of Medicaid and CHIP is pretty good because there are posters for it in every doctor’s office, school nurse’s office, and you even get sent home some of this stuff in your kiddo’s backpack. I think what people don’t know about is Children’s Special Health, and thatit is an important program for many people who make some money but really can’t afford to the co-pays on say; orphan drugs, trips to Denver Children’s and Salt Lake. These people (CSH) help pay on costly medical bills. This coverage (CSH) is available for those kids that have something that might be; shall we say; a little more severe than the norm? Or perhaps a bit more chronic? (I don’t know what they use for qualifiers.)

      I didn’t know about it. I kind of stumbled into them. Many families would benefit from this service that they probably have no idea it is even out there. Go to your local county public health nurse!

      Yes, I think there is a stigma, I think there is a HUGE stigma. Somewhere, someone is thinking somebody else got by with a free lunch. The kinds of costs I look at with my son on a monthly basis are not inconveinant ‘ouch’ charges. His medicine is $3,600.00 a month. Yes, you read that right. His formula, which he will take for the rest of his life is $800.00 a month. We won’t even take into account that I have to scream to the most expensive part of the grocery store and get all vegan, gluten free, dairy free, products. That is not a ‘take another job’ kind of a medical payment. That is a ‘I would be hard-pressed to pay it if I won the lottery’ kinda payment. And I will be honest with everyone, we love our country, we really do, but if it wasn’t for Children’s Special Health, google a little town called Nelson, British Columbia. That’s where we would be. We would have to be, and not even because we wanted to, but because the expense would force us out of country. We are living and loving America because of programs like Children’s Special Health. 🙂

  2. Michelle,
    I remember working with mom and dad on their farm. The premium was 600+ per month with a 3,000.00 deductible and no prescription coverage. WHAT was that all about?? I told mom and dad numerous times to drop me from their insurance b/c the ONLY time I would ever make use of it, is IF, by some extraordinary instance I happened to be run through a combine and was still breathing when I came out the other side. Of course, I was dropped at 21. The only purpose that insurance provided was prevention of bankruptcy should someone be seriously injured.

  3. Blanca,
    Ok, this is the way I understand it, and if I am wrong someone pls correct me. If you have children in the US, but you, yourself are not a citizen yet, you may still receive medical insurance IF you are working on a qualified work visa, green card, etc. IF you are working here and NOT on a work visa or green card, essentially an illegal alien, your children may still receive care, regardless of where they were born, and you may recv care, you will just have to be more creative in going about it. It will be free clinics, for you, maternal and child health, etc. Your children may be assigned a number through KIDS CHIP, but the expectation is that people will go about obtaining citizenship. Now, I am not sure about insurance for you that you just pay for out of pocket – like Mutual of Omaha or something like that; I am, of course, referrencing, insurance that is company provided to valid workers with a work visa. I had the honor and priviledge of working alongside several men here on work visa’s and this is how they did things. Medical care (in this case, Mexico) was so cheap that they sent back any amount that the mother needed to look after herself and her kids. Only 1 man was looking at citizenship. The rest were content to travel b/c their wives were so happy close to their families in Mexico and the men made enough money seasonally that they lived very well in the off months.
    It takes a long time to earn these people’s trust and to have them understand that you are not going to call INS on them. They are a very cautious peoples, and rightfully so, they just want to work. I typically found out a lot of information by going to source and saying, “Pretend I am Maria Sangria, illegal alien with no papers, now how do I get care for my child when I have no insurance.” People that work in our fields are typically happy to provide help and information and allow you to provide accurate advise to your client. I would personally rather pass on correct advise, than make a Child Protective Services call. 😦

  4. Tammy said:

    I am also a big supporter of Equality Care and CHIP. As an uninsured single parent and sole caregiver, the fear is always present about my health and if I became seriously ill, what would happen to my child. Consequently, I agree, that it would be wonderful to have a program for the uninsured.

  5. I am on the same line of thinking as Michele; there are more and more hard-working people in this state that cannot afford health insurance. It would be nice if something like this was available for the working middle class folks who are not offered health insurance through their employers.

  6. Blanca Moye said:

    Is it true that the parents of kids who are citzens need to be residents or citizens to get medical insurance?

  7. Michele said:

    I think this is a great program. There are also alot of working parents who cannot afford insurance through their employers because of the outragous deductables or monthly premiums.

  8. Because of our serious economic times we need to think of health care for everybody, I trully hope this happens in my life time.

  9. Crissy said:

    I am an avid supporter of CHIP and don’t know what I would do without it. It scares me to know that our economy is where it is and I keep telling myself that it will get better over time, but until that time it is nice to know that as a parent I know that I will be able to keep my kids healthy with the assistance of CHIP and Equality Care program.

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