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The Transition House, Inc.

Does CHIP cover counseling for kids? 


Are your kids enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)?

If so, they’re eligible for mental health counseling and behavioral therapy.

The longstanding federal CHIP program is administered differently by each state. Here in Florida, it’s called Florida KidCare and covers doctor visits, check-ups and shots, hospitalization and surgery, prescriptions, emergency treatment, vision and hearing, dental, and mental health. The program generally provides insurance for children from families who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

An estimated 15 million children in the US are suffering from a mental disorder, but less than 10 percent are getting the help they need.

It’s painful to see our kids struggling. But many parents hesitate when it comes to seeking help outside of the family. They worry about their child being labeled and question their own parenting skills. Parents often believe they should be able to handle things themselves. 

In the past 20 years we’ve made huge strides when it comes to talking about our problems, our children’s problems, and how the two are related. However, there’s still a stigma that prevents many from seeking the help they need – for themselves and for their children.

Your child may not show signs of distress at home but could be suffering at school or in other social settings. Listen carefully to your child’s teacher, guidance counselor, coach, or clergyman if they express concern. If you already suspect your child is struggling, these people can also be good resources to help you better understand what’s going on. If you’re having marital problems or if the family dynamic is strained in ways not directly related to your children, they could still be affected. 

Here are five signs that your child may benefit from therapy: 

1 – They threatened to harm themselves or others.
2 – When they are frightened, upset, depressed, angry, or display other erratic behavior for a prolonged period of time.
3 – When their behavior interferes with their daily lives or the overall family dynamic.
4 – When disagreements about how to handle the problem strains your marriage.
5 – When you, as the parent, simply don’t know what to do. 

If your child is covered by Florida KidCare, between the ages of 5 and 19, and NOT enrolled in Medicaid, he or she could receive comprehensive coverage through the Behavioral Health Network or BNET. 

To enroll in Florida KidCare, call 1-888-540-5437 or visit the website. For assistance with BNET enrollment, call 727-362-4225 or email Gayle McNeill, LMHC, at gmcneill at pemhs dot org.

The Transition House offers a variety of individual and group counseling for kids at our Counseling Centers throughout Central Florida. You can reach us at 407-892-5700 for information on our programs and how you can get your kids covered. Call today, we’re here to help.


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