Free or Low-Cost Health Insurance for Kids
Child Health Plus is a New York State sponsored health insurance program that offers free or very low-cost health insurance for children ages newborn to 19 who live in New York State. Child Health Plus is administered locally by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Health insurers throughout the State participate in the Child Health Plus program, so no matter where you live in New York state you may be eligible for Child Health Plus.
Child Health Plus generally pays for routine and preventive outpatient health care. It will also cover your children if they need to be hospitalized. It covers the cost for regular medical services, check ups, immunization shots, prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, vision care, dental care, mental healthcare, x-rays and basic laboratory tests, and overnight hospital stays. Hospital emergency room treatment is covered only if it involves an actual medical emergency or accidental injury.
Who is Eligible?
Your children are eligible for this plan through Excellus BlueCross BlueShield if they:
- Live within our service area of Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Fulton, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Otsego, Oneida, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Stueben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, or Yates Counties
- Are under the age of 19; and
- Have little or no medical insurance
Where can your children go for healthcare?
Choose from over 13,000 doctors to provide quality care for your child at a little or no premium cost, depending on your income level. Your children can go to doctors, dentists and other health professionals that participate with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and receive paid-in-full healthcare benefits for covered services. Participating providers include doctors, laboratories, pharmacies, hospitals, and surgical facilities.
How much does it cost?
The cost of Child Health Plus depends on where your family income falls compared with the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Depending on your family income, you may have to pay a contribution toward the premium. The contributions are $0, $9, $15, $30, $45 or $60 per child per month based on your household size and gross family income. If your household income exceeds the New York State Department of Health's income guidelines, you can enroll your child for the full premium per month.
How to Apply
You can apply for your child's coverage on-line through NYSOH by visiting www.nysofhealth.ny.gov. If you would like assistance in applying for coverage, call NYSOH's Consumer Service Center at 1-855-355-5775.
Please note, your child's application must be processed by the 15th of the month in order for coverage to begin on the first day of the next month. If the application is processed after that date, coverage will be effective the first day of the next month.
Contact Customer Services
If you need assistance, an Excellus BlueCross BlueShield staff member will explain the Child Health Plus program. Call Excellus BlueCross BlueShield toll free at 1(800)716-4885 or TTY 1(800)421-1220 for locations and to schedule an appointment.