Having a child is expensive. If you have a child with special health care needs, the out-of-pocket expenses can add up quickly! There are a lot of programs out there to help. The trick is finding them.
Let’s start with the big one: Medicaid Waivers. Most states, including Texas, have a Medicaid Waiver program. If you have a child with disabilities, chances are that they qualify for at least one of the waivers offered to Texans.
The first step is to get on the interest list (waiting list). You can do this by calling the main phone number: (877) 438-5658. Some of the programs have very long waits (10-15+ years). Call now and get on the list.
While your child is on the Medicaid Waiver waiting list, you can consider the Medicaid Buy-In program to help as well. There is a cost for the buy-in, but it can save you a lot if you have frequent doctor, therapy, medication refills, or other co-payments.
There are other programs out there, too. There are many local programs that offer one-time grants to families to help cover expenses. These programs may serve different zip codes, counties, or cities. The best way to find these is to Google the region where you live. Use search terms like “special needs financial help” or “medical grants for children.” Variety and United Health Care Children’s Foundation are 2 large grants. And there are many others that serve much smaller populations.
Some grants are specific to the type of expense as well. There are grants to help with wheelchair vans. There are programs that help pay for medication costs. There are also programs that may be specific to therapy or a diagnosis.
If you can’t find any relevant grants through a Google search, join a parent group. Ask other parents for this type of information. Parent groups can be a great way to find out about all kinds of services and programs.
If none of the above suggestions help, consider a GoFundMe or a YouCaring campaign. These allow you to raise funds on your own. If you choose to take this route, be sure to read the fine print. A percentage of the money raised goes to the fundraising page. Sometimes there are additional fees for types of payments, low payments, etc.
Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you to find financial aid for your out-of-pocket expenses.
The Insurance, Benefits, and Financial section provides a lot of valuable information on this topic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.