Baton Rouge  In observation of Grandparents Day, the Louisiana Department of Health is reminding grandparents that they can apply for no-cost health insurance for grandchildren in their care through the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP).  On LaCHIP applications for households in which a grandparent is responsible for the care of a child, the grandparent’s income is not counted toward eligibility.  This policy differs from other state programs such as Food Stamps, TANF cash assistance and free or reduced school lunch.

LaCHIP is a health insurance program designed to bring quality health care to uninsured children and youth up to the age of 19 in Louisiana. The LaCHIP application is an easy-to-read, two-page document with no follow-up interview required.  LaCHIP has absolutely no enrollment fees, premiums, co-payments or deductibles.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Louisiana ranks as one of the top five states in the nation for grandparents raising their grandchildren.  The Census Bureau reports that more than 67,000 Louisiana grandparents are responsible for meeting the basic needs of their grandchildren, including their health care.

“Today, with so many Louisiana children being raised by grandparents, it is important for these second-generation parents to know they can receive no-cost health insurance for their grandchildren,” said LDH Secretary David W. Hood.

If grandparents already have private insurance coverage for their grandchildren, traditional Medicaid still may offer them wraparound services.  This coverage would allow the state to cover co-payments, prescription coverage and other services not covered under private health plans.

For more information, or to receive a LaCHIP application, call toll-free, 1-877-252-2447 (2LaCHIP), or visit the LaCHIP Web site at .