Why Kids Need Health Insurance

two children playing on an ipad

Children are known for their cute faces, their tiny voices and their magnetic attraction to germs. Being an adventurous kindergartener or an expressive pre-teen comes with its share of coughs, colds, rashes and bruises. Children can’t be protected from every tiny germ, but they can have added protection by having a health plan.

One immediate action you can take is getting a health plan for your child between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15. This is called open enrollment and is the period of time that you can shop for plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace or on bcbsmt.com.

Many health plans include essential health benefits. Essential health benefits are a set of health care services that must be covered by certain plans. There are many added benefits for having a health plan for your child like hearing screenings, vision screenings, immunizations, oral exams and more.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) 2019 Individual and Family Plans include important services like preventive care, pediatric services and vaccination coverage. These services are important for keeping your kids healthy and tracking their development as they grow up. A health plan for your child will even cover their seasonal flu shot.

Essential Health Benefits

  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Emergency services
  • Mental health disorder services
  • Substance use disorder services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative services and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services
  • Chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services

Help Paying for Health Insurance
Two areas to pay attention to when shopping for a health plan are cost and doctors. If affordability is a concern, you still have options. You can see what plans fit your budget and your child’s needs by entering basic information on our website.

Providing information like family size, zip code and income will help to determine if you qualify for a subsidy. Last year many people learned they qualified for a premium tax credit or cost sharing assistance.

  • Premium tax credit– A credit through the marketplace based on your income that lowers your monthly premium.
  • Cost Sharing assistance – A discount that lowers the amount you pay for your deductible, coinsurance and copayments.


Once you decide what type of plan you want for your child, next you’ll need to see what doctors accept that health plan. If you aren’t familiar with doctors in your area check a tool like Provider Finder ®. Provider Finder lets you search for doctors and hospitals in your area and within your plan’s network.


Why your child needs a health plan?
Health plans come in handy in all types of situations. A sprained ankle during basketball practice, a nasty fall during gymnastics or an unexpected ringworm outbreak at daycare – can all be treated by visiting your health plan’s network of doctors and hospitals.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield members, Amy and Justin Wallace recall how they felt after their son’s lung collapsed.

“It was very stressful from a mother's standpoint,” Amy said. “And the last thing that we wanted to have to worry about was the financial end of that. And having Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance, we knew that we didn't have to worry about that.”

Having a health plan is a pretty big deal when it comes to raising your kids. So, unless you plan on putting your kids in a bionic bubble – having a health plan is the next best thing.

Have more questions about insuring your children? Head over to our FAQs or Ask a Question!

Last Updated: 10/2/2018

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