The wait is over!

06 July 2016 Written by  

Spread the word: lawfully residing immigrant kids can enroll in CHIP and Medicaid now!

As of July 1st, 2016, new legislation takes effect that eliminates the previously mandated 5-year waiting period before lawfully-residing immigrant children in Utah could enroll in CHIP and Medicaid. Thank you to the Utah Legislature and the Utah Department of Health for making this change! Five years is too long for a child to wait. More good news: the federal government will match up to 100% of the state dollars Utah spends to remove the 5-year waiting period, making this a fiscally-prudent policy change for Utah. 

Voices for Utah children supported ending the 5-year wait during the 2016 Utah Legislative Session. Utah has the highest rate of uninsured Hispanic children in the nation and the removal of the 5-year wait is a significant step to help all children in Utah access affordable health coverage.

In addition to allowing states to end the 5-year wait for children, the 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) gives states the option to expand insurance coverage to lawfully residing pregnant women.  Utah has not yet accepted that option. Going forward, let's end the 5-year wait for pregnant women, too! Prenatal care improves the health of both mothers and their children.

To learn more about CHIP and Medicaid eligibility, call 211 or visit (A Spanish version is available at

For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express for sponsoring our 30th Anniversary Year. Amex

April Young Bennett 300April Young Bennett, Communications Director, joined the organization in 2014. She received her Master of Public Administration from the University of Arizona and her Bachelor in Community Health Education from Utah State University. Prior to joining Voices for Utah Children, April worked for the Utah Department of Health for over a decade, addressing health disparities among minorities and other underserved Utahns. She completed internships and fellowships with the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy and the U.S. Senate.