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Don’t Lose Your Benefits: Ensuring Healthcare Access for Children

Access to healthcare is crucial for children’s well-being and development. While some parents may assume that they do not qualify for Medicaid benefits, it is essential to note that their children may still be eligible for coverage.

In this blog post, we will explore the eligibility criteria for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in New Mexico, emphasizing the importance of healthcare for children and how families can navigate the application and renewal process.


Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility for Children

Parents often believe that if they do not meet the income requirements for Medicaid, their children will also be ineligible for coverage. However, in New Mexico, children under the age of 18 may still qualify for Medicaid or CHIP even if their parents don’t meet the requirements. This ensures that children have access to necessary healthcare services, regardless of their parents’ financial situation.


CHIP provides low-cost or free health coverage to children from families with incomes up to 138% to 240% of the federal poverty level (FPL) for ages 6-18, and 200% to 300% of the FPL for ages 0-5. This program aims to bridge the gap for families who may not qualify for Medicaid but still need affordable healthcare options for their children.


Protecting Healthcare Coverage during COVID-19 PHE

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) in January 2020. This declaration led to special rules that allowed more people to access and maintain their Medicaid benefits. Prior to the PHE, New Mexico reviewed beneficiary information and renewed their participation if they still qualified.


However, once the continuous coverage requirement expires at the end of the PHE, New Mexico will need to conduct a full redetermination for all beneficiaries subject to redetermination. It is crucial for families to stay informed about the renewal process and ensure their children’s healthcare coverage remains intact.


Application and Renewal Process

To apply for Medicaid or CHIP in New Mexico, parents can complete the Centennial Care application over the phone by calling 1-855-637-6574. It is important to update contact information to receive important renewal notices. Families can do this online via chat or by calling 1-800-283-4465.


When it’s time to renew, beneficiaries will receive renewal notices either via a turquoise envelope or through electronic means like email or text messages if that communication method was chosen.


Healthcare is a fundamental right for children, and Medicaid and CHIP ensure that every child has access to essential healthcare services. In New Mexico, children may be eligible for coverage through CHIP, even if their parents do not qualify based on income. The COVID-19 PHE has resulted in special rules for Medicaid renewal, and it is crucial for families to remain proactive and informed about the renewal process.


By staying updated with contact information, watching for renewal notices, and completing the necessary steps on time, families can ensure that their children’s healthcare coverage continues seamlessly. Remember, every child deserves access to quality healthcare, and by navigating the application and renewal process, parents can provide their children with the necessary support for a healthy and bright future.


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