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State of Illinois CHIP Program

The State of Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan, better known as CHIP, is a state insurance program for persons who are unable to obtain individual health insurance due to the existence or history of a medical condition or have presumptive medical condition which is presumed by law to result in an automatic rejection by an insurance company. Participants must pay their own health insurance premiums to receive coverage.

There are two parts to the program: (1) the Traditional CHIP Pool which is open to persons who cannot purchase private insurance, are not eligible for Medicaid, and are not covered by group insurance, and (2) the HIPPAA-CHIP Pool which is only open to persons who have had group health insurance for at least 18 months prior to applying for CHIP, have not had a break of more than 62 days in coverage, and have recently exhausted any COBRA continuation rights as well as meet all of the requirements of the Traditional CHIP Pool.

Participants have a lifetime maximum in benefits of $1 million with an average annual premium of $4200 according to 2000 reports. Premiums charged by CHIP are currently set at 135 percent of the average rates charged in the individual health insurance market in Illinois. Premiums vary by gender, age, geographic area, deductible amount, and type of plan. Persons apply directly to the programs and applications can be requested from the CHIP Board Office at 1-800-962-8384.

The Traditional CHIP Pool program currently has a waiting list for new participants because the funds allocated to the program are limited each year. However, for persons eligible for HIPAA-CHIP, state and federal law require that there will be no limitation on enrollment and no waiting lists.

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McDonough County Interagency Council
Macomb, Illinois