As posted on spaoa.org/blog
By: Alecia Stanton
Most parents dread the days they have to rush their child to the doctor. This can be an even bigger cause for worry when you don’t have health insurance for your child. Make sure you know how to get your child the care they need, at a price you can afford, before that day comes. Here are some of your options:
It’s important to check your eligibility for Medicaid before using any of the below methods. If you qualify, you will be able to cover your whole family for much less than the cost of private insurance. You can check your eligibility here.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
If you make too much to qualify for Medicaid, you should try applying for CHIP. This program provides low cost coverage for children in families that do not qualify for Medicaid. You can find information regarding your states CHIP program on Insure Kids Now.
Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, is known for their nutritional assistance to pregnant women, mothers, and children. They also provide health care referrals in certain instances. If you qualify for WIC or already have it, speak with your caseworker about any of medical concerns you have for your child that you would like a referral for.
Find Inexpensive Prescriptions
If you receive a prescription for your child, get the generic type if it is available. You can also ask about over the counter alternatives or talk to your child’s pediatrician about not being able to afford the medication. They may be able to direct you to help.
Community Health Centers
These facilities provide medical (and sometimes dental) services for families that cannot afford regular hospitals. They typically offer a sliding scale payment option, so that the cost of care for your child is based on your income.
Whether you find inexpensive health coverage or make note of where your nearest Community Health Care Center with sliding scale payments options, it’s best to be prepared. You can even apply to CHIP and Medicaid year-round, unlike regular insurance. So if you missed the enrollment period for 2016, it’s not too late for these types of coverage.