As a family of five trying to make ends meet in this struggling economy, we understand too well what hardship any unplanned medical expenses can cause. Even though we are covered under my husband's medical insurance through his employer, anything that is not routine is not covered 100%. Even if the coverage is 80% for non-routine medical attention, tests, and procedures, that 20% of a large medical bill would likely be more than the average family can afford, even when paid in installments. The frightening idea of something like this happening is always in the back of our minds along with an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. As parents, we might consider putting off medical treatment for ourselves, but we would never think of doing that for our children.
Thankfully we have yet to go through such an ordeal and certainly other parents who have would have useful advice to offer. I would, however, like to share about a source for financial assistance for child-related medical bills that parents may not be aware of.
Since 2006, the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation has been awarding grants to families to assist with their children's medical expenses that are not covered or fully-covered by their insurance plans. Over the course of approximately 7 years, this non-profit children's charity has awarded more than 5,000 medical grants to families in need. Each grant awarded can be up to $5,000 and can help to pay for child-related medical expenses, including (but not limited to) the following . . .
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
- Counseling services
- Wheel chairs
- Hearing aids
Although UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation grant applications are being accepted ongoing, here are some guidelines for knowing if your family is eligible:
- Child with the medical condition must be 16 years old or younger
- Family must meet certain economic guidelines
- Family must reside in the United States
- Child must be covered under a commercial health insurance plan
- Application must be completed by the child's parents or legal guardians
- Expenses covered by the grant must have been incurred within 60 days prior to submitting the application (Note: Grants awarded will also cover related medical expenses incurred in the future.)
Visit www.uhccf.org to submit your grant application or if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation. Please know that all donations are used towards grants to help families in the same region from which the donation was received.