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Health Insurance For Children - 5 Cheapest Plans For Kids In 2019

Edward Neeman | Published: June 14, 2018

Family kitchen table

Updated: August 28, 2018

When it comes to what’s important in life, your family and your children are at the top of the list. So, why wouldn’t you want to do everything in your power to keep them protected?

While it isn’t illegal to not insure your child, it’s definitely not recommended. Children are adventurous, fearless, and count on you to make sure they stay healthy, and without health insurance, they are at risk. Health insurance does more than just protect your family, it ensures they get the proper care and attention they need to grow big and strong.

If price is a factor in your decision, don’t worry, we have you covered. We’ve put together a list of the 5 cheapest health insurance options for children. So, no matter your budget, you’ll be sure to find coverage that fits the needs of your family.

Are There Child-Only Health Insurance Plans?

Before we get into the plans, it’s important to know that there is such a thing as child-only health insurance. While there are programs that help low-income families obtain health insurance coverage for a free or subsidize price, in the worst case scenario, it’s good to know that you can get kids coverage on their own.

1. Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

The Children’s Health Insurance Program, usually just referred to as CHIP, was specifically designed to cover kids. This tops our list as the most affordable options for child health insurance due to its ability to provide coverage at little to no cost.

While CHIP may live under the umbrella of Medicaid, it does get its own funding as well. The program is funded by the federal government, but it’s actually the states that run and dictate the program’s policies as they see fit, including criteria for eligibility.

Even though eligibility may vary between states, generally speaking, if a family’s income is two times the federal poverty level, then their kids would automatically be eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. If you would like to check your eligibility, visit Insure Kids Now, and simply just select the state you live in.

Medicaid For Children

Some kids may not be eligible for CHIP, but instead, be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid is run at the state level, and just like CHIP, may have different eligibility requirements. If you’re curious as to which program is right for you, check out the easy to use Medicaid.gov.

2. Keeping Your Child On Your Plan

Enrolling in a family health insurance plan will often allow you to add dependents at a lower cost than finding child-only coverage. For example, if you choose to bundle your cable and service provider, you will more than likely save more money than opting for different providers for each service. The same rings true for family health plans. Since you’re most likely paying for health insurance, this option makes the number two spot on our list.

How Long Kids Can Stay On Parent Plans

The good news is that your kids can stay on your plan until they aren’t really kids anymore. Under the Affordable Care Act, or as you may know it, Obamacare, children can stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until they are 26 years old.

Can Both Parents Insure The Same Kid?

In short, yes, your child can be insured by both parents individually. However, one policy will be considered the primary, while the other is considered secondary. That means benefits from the first plan will be used first, and then the secondary plan will kick into to cover any remaining costs.

3. Marketplace Health Insurance

The health insurance marketplace is alive and well, and Open Enrollment 2019 is just around the corner. The marketplace, or exchange, is a place where you don’t only apply for health insurance, but apply for subsidies as well.

Qualifying for subsidies is not as difficult as strict as qualifying for Medicaid or CHIP. In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly 15 million American families are eligible for subsidized health coverage through the marketplace, and only about 60% of families take advantage of that.

If you’re looking for cheap health insurance for your kids, then the marketplace has tons of options available for you.

4. Private Health Coverage Insurance For Children

Number four on our list may come as a shock, but if you’re having difficulty finding affordable child-only plans, then you may want to try the private sector.

In order for private insurers to make money, they need to fill their risk pool with a healthy mix of individuals with a low chance of liability, and kids tend to fit that bill. Kids are young, active, and typically healthy, which is exactly why health insurance companies want them to be part of their risk pool.

If you don’t qualify for financial assistance from the government, or through the marketplace, then private is definitely the right option for you. You may be surprised at just how inexpensive health insurance plans can be, especially for your young ones.

5. Catastrophic Health Insurance

Don’t be thrown off by the name, these health insurance plans do more than just keep you covered in the event of a catastrophe.

Catastrophic health insurance plans are a product of the Affordable Care Act, but aren’t available to just anyone. However, for anyone who is eligible, these plans are a must.

Catastrophic health plans are designed for those who are young and healthy. They offer low monthly premiums in exchange for higher out-of-pocket expenses. While the trade-off could end up being more expensive in the long run, for children, these plans often times end up saving you a fortune.

If you’re looking to get started with your search for cheap health insurance for your kids, try FirstQuote Health.

As one of the leading quoting tools, FirstQuote Health not only takes your needs into consideration, but helps you find available plans in your area. By entering your zip code, and answering a few questions to help us narrow your search, you will be able to quickly and easily see and compare quotes in your area. Get covered as quickly as today.