How Children Can Receive Free or Low-Cost Preventive Care

Medicaid and CHIP benefits include vaccinations, regular checkups, dental visits, and more.

Children are among the most vulnerable populations when it comes to measles and other highly contagious diseases. Giving babies recommended vaccinations by age 2 is one of the best ways to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, including measles and whooping cough. For many families, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) help cover these vaccines, and provide free or low-cost health coverage to help keep kids healthy.

Measles is an extremely contagious virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90 percent of those close to that person who are not immune can also become infected. So far in 2019, 880 cases of measles have been reported across 24 states.

Your child may be one of the millions of uninsured children eligible for free or low-cost health coverage through Medicaid and CHIP. These programs allow your child to get vaccinated against measles and other serious childhood diseases, and get regular checkups, dental visits, eye exams, emergency services, prescriptions, and other preventive care.

Parents with low to moderate incomes (up to nearly $50,000, or even higher in some states) may be able to enroll their children in Medicaid or CHIP. There’s no special open enrollment period, so you can enroll your children at any time during the year. You can apply in-person with your state’s Medicaid or CHIP agency, visit the “Find Coverage for Your Family” section on or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669). If you need vaccinations immediately, call 1-800-543-7468 or email