Health is the foundation for school readiness. This is why Head Start programs help enrolled children access preventive screenings, health care, and health insurance coverage. Because Head Start serves low-income families, most children are eligible for coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). See Child health status and care, 45 CFR § 1302.42 of the Head Start Program Performance Standards for more information on health requirements in Head Start.
Research shows that children are more likely to be healthy when their parents and siblings have access to health care, too. For that reason, programs play a vital role in making sure that parents know how to navigate health systems and secure their own health insurance. Review the requirements at Family support services for health, nutrition, and mental health, 45 CFR § 1302.46(b)(2).
Families Have Options
Head Start family members—including parents, older siblings, and grandparents—also may qualify for financial help with health coverage. Many state Medicaid programs cover people who make up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2017, the federal poverty level for a family of four in most states is $24,600. Your state’s CHIP may also cover some adults. Explore this list of frequently asked questions for more information.
Medicaid or CHIP Eligibility
The eligibility rules for Medicaid and CHIP are different for each state. Find information on your state at https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/by-state/by-state.html. Pregnant women, some seniors, and people with disabilities may also qualify.
How to Apply for Health Coverage
Interpreters in 150 languages are available by phone. To speak with an interpreter, say “Agent” or press “0.” Once an agent is on the line, say the name of the language you need.
National Centers:Early Childhood Health and Wellness
Last Updated: July 16, 2018