Ohio Ohio Healthy Start - Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Application Information

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Ohio, known as Healthy Start, provides health insurance coverage to eligible families with children for free or at a low cost. Babies, children, and teenagers who are below 19 years old, as well as pregnant women, may qualify to receive medical services.

Healthy Start aims to give greater access to health benefits for those families with children whose incomes are too high to become eligible for Medicaid insurance, but too low to pay for private coverage. Some of the free services offered by the program include regular medical care, treatment, and hospitalizations.

The Healthy Start is a Medicaid expansion for children in Ohio and is managed by the Ohio Department of Human Services or ODHS. To be able to receive benefits from the program, you must be eligible based on the income of your family. You may get coverage for free or at a low cost since some services for certain members of the family may need to pay a copayment of around $1-$3.

This program covers children (19 years old and below) and pregnant women (of any age) in households with incomes at a maximum of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or FPL. Some children who are below 21 years old and are discharged from foster care are also covered.

The coverage of Healthy Start for qualified pregnant women begins during pregnancy and will last up to 60 days after giving birth to the baby. These babies born to mothers who are on the program are automatically eligible to receive free medical services and health coverage for an entire year starting on the date of birth.

Some of the services offered by the Healthy Start program include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Hospital Care
  • Doctor Visits
  • Dental Care
  • Immunizations
  • Prescriptions
  • Mental health
  • Vision services
  • Substance abuse

Healthy Start also covers eligible pregnant women of any age. If you are pregnant and you are qualified to receive the benefits of the program, you may get all the services offered by Medicaid. These include:

  • Pregnancy-related services or PRS like hospital care and doctor visits (for other available services, you should get in touch with your PRS coordinator at your local County Department of Job and Family Services or CDJFS)
  • Comprehensive pregnancy-related care even after giving birth to your baby
  • Aid with appointment setting and transportation
  • Nutritional information
  • Dental services
  • Vision care
  • Treatment when you are injured or sick
  • Comprehensive preventive health care services
  • Healthchek services (this is only available to individuals who are below 21 years old)

Since Healthy Start is created to help families whose income exceeds the conditions to become eligible for the regular Medicaid but is unable to pay for private insurance coverage, the income limits of this program is a lot higher. The limit is contingent on the size of your household, including children who are still unborn. To learn more about the Healthy Start limits, you should contact the local CDJFS in your area or call the consumer hotline: 1-800-324-8680 or TTY 1-800-292-3572 (for the hearing-impaired).

Eligibility Requirements

The Healthy Start program is available to the following groups:

  • Uninsured children (up to 19 years old) in households who have an income of up to 200% of the FPL
  • Insured children (up to 19 years old) in households who have an income of up to 150% of the FPL
  • Pregnant women in households who have an income of up to 200% of the FPL

To qualify for the program, you must also meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a resident of the state of Ohio
  • Must be a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, or a qualified alien
  • Must have a Social Security number or have applied for one
  • Must be within the income limits or meet certain financial requirements

Click here to view the income guidelines table for Healthy Start.

Children who are in families with an income ranging from 150% to 200% of the FPL must not have any insurance coverage to be qualified for the Healthy Start program. Those who do have other health insurance may still be eligible if the income of the family is below 150% of the FPL.

Ohio Healthy Start - Childrens Health Insurance Program Application Instructions

To apply for Healthy Start, you need to fill out the application form. You may use the Combined Programs Application or CPA - JFS Form No. 07216. You can download it online by clicking here.

Another way to get an application form is by requesting it from the Medicaid Consumer Hotline at 1-800-324-8680 (or TDD 1-800-292-3572 for individuals who have a hearing impairment). The staff can assist you in filling out the form and then send it to you by mail for your signature.

After completing the application form, you may send it by mail, fax, or bring it personally to your local County Department of Job and Family Services (CDJFS) along with the following documents:

  • Proof of citizenship or alien status (must be the original document or a certified copy; do not fax)
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of pregnancy (if applicable)
  • Proof of other health insurance (if any)

There is no face-to-face interview required when applying for the Healthy Start program.

After you have been qualified for the program, children need to reapply every 12 months to maintain coverage. On the other hand, families need to reapply every six months.

If you feel that you are not eligible because your family's income is a little higher than the income limits, you should still submit an application since certain monthly expenses will be deducted (for example, child support and child care).