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Local News

February 28, 2014

Children's health plan praised by area parents

New York’s Child Health Plus program is misunderstood, according to several local parents who utilize it. 

Sarah Bueck, of Oneonta, said without Child Health Plus, she would be paying hundreds of dollars a month for health insurance for her 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. Bueck’s children are just two of more than 1,143 Otsego County children enrolled in the program.

Despite the many people who use Child Health Plus, a common misconception remains that the program is only for people with low income even though, Bueck said, Child Health Plus is a “great” resource that anyone can make use of.

The misconception likely comes from the fact that families with incomes less than 1.6 times the poverty level, which is $600 per week for a three-person family and $724 per week for a four-person family, are eligible for free coverage, with no monthly premium, according to the program’s website. But families with higher incomes are also eligible for health insurance that is, although not free, still very affordable, the website said.

Child Health Plus was established in 1990 and is the largest state-subsidized health insurance program in the nation, according to its website. The program provides insurance for children under the age of 19 who are not eligible for Medicaid and who are not insured under a parents’ health insurance plan. Almost all children are eligible for the program, the website said, and children must be residents of New York. Cost of coverage through the state-subsidized health insurance program is based on a family’s gross income and size of the family.

According to the Child Health Plus website, families with higher incomes pay a monthly premium of $9, $15, $30, $45, or $65 per child. After paying the premium, families do not have any co-payments for services they receive through a participating provider.

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