8 Myths About Medicaid and Dental Coverage for Kids

Finding health and dental insurance for children can be difficult, especially for low- or no-income families. Luckily, Medicaid programs are available through state government agencies, to help cover the cost of health and dental care for children. Most states offer Medicaid expansion benefits through the federal Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which requires states to offer both dental and medical benefits to qualifying children. Families that may qualify for benefits can apply either through the Health Insurance Marketplace or through their state's Medicaid agency, and income guidelines are often available online. Unfortunately, many families believe the common myths associated with Medicaid and dental benefits for children. Keep reading to learn the top eight myths before applying for coverage for your children. 

8 Active Myths | Suggest a Myth
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MYTH: If I work a full-time job, I probably don't qualify for Medicaid and dental coverage for my children.

Even if you work a full-time job, you may still meet the income requirements to get your child covered under CHIP or other Medicaid benefits. If you're having difficulty providing medical or dental coverage for your child or children, you should apply with your local state medicaid agency or through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

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MYTH: I need to apply for medical and dental coverage separately.

Medicaid expansion benefits through CHIP must include basic dental insurance, and most non-CHIP Medicaid also provides dental coverage through the state, so there is no need to apply for the benefits separately.

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MYTH: My child can receive coverage even after 18 years of age, as long as he or she is still a student.

CHIP and Medicaid for children cover children up to age 18, regardless of whether or not they remain in school. Once your child turns 18, you or your child will need to apply for adult benefits, and eligibility may differ from that of CHIP and other children's Medicaid programs.

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MYTH: If I'm still pregnant, I can't get Medicaid or CHIP benefits until after my baby is born

CHIP and most other children's Medicaid benefits also cover prenatal and perinatal care for your child, and extends up to a few months after your baby is born, at which point you'll need to apply directly for benefits for your child.

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MYTH: If I don't qualify for CHIP or other children's Medicaid benefits, I must pay full-price for health and dental coverage for my child(ren)

Both the Health Insurance Marketplace and state Medicaid agencies may have low-cost coverage options, even if your family doesn't qualify for free benefits. If you're having trouble obtaining or paying for health or dental insurance for your child(ren), contact your state Medicaid office to find out what other options you may qualify for.

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MYTH: If my children qualify for Medicaid or CHIP coverage, I will qualify for Medicaid coverage, as well

The requirements for CHIP and other children's Medicaid programs typically differ from those for adult benefits. If you also need health or dental coverage, contact your local Medicaid agency or visit the Health Insurance Marketplace to find out whether or not you qualify for free or reduced-price coverage. 

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MYTH: Once my child or children qualify for coverage, they will be covered until they are 18 years old

Eligibility reviews are typically required each year for CHIP and other Medicaid for children, and in some cases, may be re-determined more frequently. In addition, if you start earning more income or have other life changes that may affect your eligibility, contact your state Medicaid agency to make sure you still qualify.

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MYTH: Medicaid for children and CHIP benefits don't offer the same coverage as plans I may purchase separately

CHIP and other medicaid plans are designed to provide all of the basic coverage you would get from a plan you would purchase through the marketplace. However, some services, such as orthodontics, may not be covered under CHIP. If you're concerned about the quality of your child's medical or dental coverage through these programs, contact your state Medicaid agency for more information on supplemental plans that may also be available.