CHIP Enrollment Reaches a High

By  | 

AUSTIN (AP) - State officials say enrollment in Texas' low-cost insurance program for children has reached a 2½-year high, that's thanks to a new law eliminating a 90-day waiting period for new participants.

More than 327,000 children are registered in September for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

That marks an increase of 27,000 from August and is the highest enrollment total since March 2005.

CHIP covers kids whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to buy private insurance.

State lawmakers spent much of this spring haggling over a proposal to loosen enrollment restrictions and allow families to enroll once a year instead of twice.

The new standards allow families to enroll once a year, with electronic checks every six months for parents near the top of the income eligibility scale. The measure also eased restrictions on families' assets and eliminated the 90-day waiting period unless the children had previously been covered by an insurance plan.