New York, New Jersey and Hawaii top the list of states with the most generous eligibility rules for children to receive free or low-cost health insurance, according to the Foundation for Health Coverage Education.
The foundation ranked states by maximum family income limits in Children's Health Insurance Programs (CHIPs). Families whose incomes fall below the thresholds can enroll their children in the programs, which are funded by federal and state governments.
"The good news is that, by law, there is a CHIP program in every state. What we've found is most families are surprised at the income level they can make ... and still qualify their children," Phil Lebherz, the foundation's founder and executive director, said in a press release. "Unfortunately, because each state's CHIP program has income limits that vary, it's difficult for families to know that, in times of need, their children could qualify for this comprehensive coverage."
Maximum income limits for a family of four for the top five most generous states are:
- New York, $89,400
- New Jersey, $78,225
- Hawaii, $77,148
- Vermont, $67,350
- Oregon, $67,248
The five states with the lowest income limits for a family of four are:
- Arizona, $44,100
- Idaho, $41,352
- Oklahoma, $41,348
- Maine, $40,008
- North Dakota, $35,760