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Chip has Room to Insure 5,500 More Kids

Enrollment numbers for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are at an all time high, but there is still room to insure 5,500 more children.

That is why health officials from the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) want to tell Carbon County about CHIP.

"We're insuring more kids than we have in the past," says Judy Spigarelli, Supervisor, Bureau of Eligibility Services, UDOH.

CHIP has experienced steady growth since the program opened for extended enrollment in July 2005.

"But there's still room for more. We want our Carbon County residents to know what CHIP has to offer," Spigarelli says. Currently, a total of 34,534 Utah kids are enrolled in CHIP. Apply now, while space is still available.

One mother from Holden, whose four children are on CHIP, talks about how CHIP has helped her family. Although she and her husband are covered through an employer's insurance, it is much too expensive for the whole family.

"You can control how hard you work," she says, "but you cannot control the cost of living. We're grateful there is a program available so that we can have insurance for our kids."

Benefits of CHIP include well-child exams, immunizations, doctor visits, hospital and emergency care, prescriptions, hearing and eye exams, mental health services and dental care. These benefits are available at low premiums up to $25 every three months and low co-pays.

To qualify, children must be under age 19, a Utah resident, a U.S. citizen or legal resident, and have no health insurance. Children with existing medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and other conditions, are welcome to apply.

Parents do not need U.S. citizenship and legal residency for their child to qualify for insurance. Qualification for CHIP also depends on the family size and yearly income. In most cases, the child's income (ie. child support or social security benefits) does not count towards the income limit.

For example, the current income guidelines suggest that a family of three should have a maximum annual income of $32,180 to qualify. For a family of four, the maximum is $38,700; for a family of 5, $45,220; for a family of 6, $51,740; and for a family of 7, $58,260.

Kari Scribner, whose children are insured through CHIP, was surprised that her family qualified based on income guidelines. "They're higher than you think," says Scribner.

To learn more about CHIP, go to or call your local CHIP representative at (435) 636-2317 or (435) 636-0227.

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