Back to school: Adding wellness exams, vaccines to your checklist

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can provide preventative services

Summer is almost over, and now is the time to ensure your child is healthy and back-to-school ready.

Every new school year, students need school supplies like notebooks, pencils and backpacks, but they also need vaccines and well-child checkups to help them feel their best.

Brennan Loy, with Community First Health Plans, explained how Medicaid and CHIP can help your child get no-cost and low-cost health care services.

What are Medicaid and CHIP?

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide medical coverage to low-income Texans. These programs provide preventive services, like:

  • Well-child checkups.
  • Vaccines.
  • Vision screenings and eyeglasses (if needed).
  • Dental care.
  • Prescription drugs.
  • Non-emergency medical transportation (rides to and from the doctor, pharmacy and other places where you receive health care services).

Children, pregnant women, seniors and people with disabilities may qualify for Medicaid or CHIP based on household size and income. You can apply for Medicaid or CHIP any time of the year by visiting and completing the online application. You can also call 211 to speak to a representative who can help with your application.

If you already have Medicaid or CHIP, you must renew your coverage every year. When it’s time to renew, you will receive forms in the mail from Texas Human Health Services Commission (HHSC). You can fill out these forms and mail or fax them back to HHSC or renew your coverage online at

If you need help with your application or renewal forms, Community First Health Plans can help:

  • Visit the Avenida Guadalupe Community Office at 1410 Guadalupe Street, Suite 222, San Antonio, TX 78207, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for in-person bilingual assistance.
  • Call 210-227-2347 to speak with someone who can help.
  • Make an appointment to get help with your application or renewal at

For more information about Medicaid or CHIP and how to apply or renew, visit