Roughly 20 percent of kids with health issues are currently living in families who have trouble paying their medical bills. Not only are these families forced to make tough financial decisions related to what therapies, surgeries and medical equipment they can afford for their sick child, but also what basic needs they can afford for the rest of their family.
In response to these circumstances, the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is providing medical grants to help families pay for their children’s medical costs – like for 8-year-old Morgan who is battling Crohn’s disease. This month, UHCCF launched a national grant awareness campaign to encourage more families to apply for grants in 2016.
Since 2007, UHCCF has awarded more than 10,000 grants valued at more than $29 million to children and their families across the U.S. for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy. The Foundation awards grants to families regardless of insurance provider, meaning you don’t need to be covered by UnitedHealthcare to apply.
For the Cooper family, their UHCCF medical grant came at exactly the right time. Soon after the tragic loss of their 11-year-old daughter in a car accident, the family received devastating news about their 7-year-old son, Brandon. Following an emergency splenectomy, Brandon was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, a rare form of children’s cancer. When Cindy, Brandon’s mom, was forced to take a leave absence from work, the family was emotionally and financially distressed, with more than $3,000 in outstanding hospital bills and bone marrow lab test payments looming. A grant from the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation helped relieve the burden.
“It’s a gift to have organizations like UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation be able to step in and help with the variety of needs that families face,” said Cindy. “We are so very appreciative for the help UHCCF has given us.”
Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 per grant, with a lifetime maximum of $10,000 per child, to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.
“Many families are facing a variety of financial challenges, including child-related medical costs. The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation medical grants help families access and pay for care that will improve their child’s health,” said UHCCF President Matt Peterson. “We encourage everyone to spread the word to friends, family members and colleagues that child medical grants are available from UHCCF.”
To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, live in the U.S. and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses incurred 60 days prior to the application date as well as for ongoing and future medical needs.