Health care coverage for every individual was one of the main issues during the Presidential campaign. It is still one of the major factors of concern in broadcast news today. Health care coverage is no longer a choice for individuals, it has become a mandate by the United States Government. People in the federal income tax brackets are even penalized if they do not have insurance coverage. The cost of health insurance has risen to astronomical levels, and some may find that it is impossible to fit into their budget. Single moms are at a disadvantage when it comes to paying for health insurance. Many do not earn enough to buy health insurance to cover themselves and their children. Luckily the government has provided many health insurance programs designed for single moms to ensure that their children have proper coverage in order to live a healthy life.
One of the most familiar programs for single mothers is the Medicaid program. It is available in every state in the United States. This is a state issued insurance, therefore, the eligibility requirements may vary from state to state. This is the best choice for single moms who earn little to no money. It is specifically designed for people who can not afford private insurance or does not receive coverage through their employer. Medicaid provides healthcare for children and infants up to six years of age in families with an annual income $30,000 or less. Children up to 19 years of age can be covered in families with an annual income of $22,000. Medicaid benefits include free coverage for many childhood illnesses and diseases. Benefits of Medicaid include but are not limited to the following:
- Immunizations and preventative care
- The screening and testing for many health conditions
- Doctor visits and hospital stays
- Vision and dental care
The CHIP For Single Mothers Program For Children
Another health insurance program for children of single moms is the Children‘s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP for single mothers. Developed in 1997, the CHIPS program was designed to provide health insurance coverage to children whose family’s annual income exceeds the requirements for Medicaid, but is not enough to afford private health insurance. The benefits of the Children‘s Health Insurance Program is extended to cover children 19 years and younger. Some of the services provided may require the parent to participate in a cost-sharing plan, or to make low premium payments. CHIPS varies from state to state in terms of the requirements for eligibility, the benefit package that is offered, the requirements for payment levels, and the administrative processes. The flexible CHIP for single mothers benefit packages include:
- Immunizations and routine checkups
- Outpatient and inpatient hospital care
- Dental care
- X-ray and laboratory services
- Preventative care at no cost
Applying for the Children‘s Health Insurance Program is free and easy by calling their toll free number, which is: 1-877-KIDS-NOW. Applications may be submitted over the phone, by visiting the website online, or by US Mail. When applying, some documents may need to be sent for verification purposes.
Health Care Resources And Health Centers
The Health Resources and Services Administration is a service of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that is funded by the federal government. Located in many cities and rural areas, the service provides healthcare for single mothers when they do not have health insurance. Recipients of this program are required to make payments according to their income. It provides a wide range of services that include complete care for women who are pregnant, children‘s immunizations and checkups, prescription drugs and dental care for all family members, and substance abuse and mental health care if needed. It also provides for checkups and treatments for mothers. The Smile For A Lifetime Foundation is a free Orthodontic care service. It is a non-profit charitable organization that provides free orthodontic service to adults and children who may not be able to afford care any place else. Orthodontists from across the United States participate with this Foundation. Programs for single mothers, and others, like the Smile For a Lifetime Foundation, offers information and eligibility requirements on their website. There are also lists of available Orthodontists in the area in which they are needed.
The American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund is a nationwide organization that provides financial help that relates to dialysis patients across the nation. This is one of the programs for single mothers who have children with a chronic kidney disease that regular Medicaid and CHIP does not cover entirely. It is supported by donations from individuals and businesses who care. This service provides a much more needed healthcare for single mothers and healthcare for children that private insurance, or other federal and state entity does not cover. The American Kidney Fund will cover:
- Transportation to a dialysis clinic
- Medications and special diet
- The expenses for a kidney donor
The Association of Community Cancer Centers is a multidisciplinary national organization that focuses on quality cancer care for patients and the communities. They realize that cancer patients use up to date and innovative therapies. This is offered by the discovery of new uses for some of the existing drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for other illnesses. This off-label use is common in medical practices today to provide cancer care for children and adults. Single moms who are managing the care of a child with cancer are appreciative of this program that enables their child to maintain a high quality of life during cancer treatment.
Cancer Care is another non-profit organization that offers free support service nationwide. These support services are given by professionals who take care of anyone affected by cancer including caregivers, parents, children, or other loved ones. Free financial assistance, education, counseling, and practical help are provided by social workers trained in oncology. Single moms going through a cancer situation does not have to feel alone. This program offers an online support group where people can talk with others in familiar situations.
The Chronic Disease Fund Inc
The Chronic Disease Fund, Inc. is another program that single moms can reach out to if they have a child that has a chronic illness. This organization focuses on assisting patients who are un-insured, and have been diagnosed with a life-altering, chronic disease. These patients often have to use specialty treatments that are usually very expensive. The Chronic Disease Fund, Inc. is a non-profit organization that offers medication and financial assistance to help improve the quality of life and health of the patients.
Health Benefits For The Single Mother
Many single mothers are working moms who have some insurance coverage through their employer. In some instances, working moms may be ineligible for other benefits that would help maintain the health of their children. A child’s overall health include the ability to eat well-balanced meals. There are many agencies and programs that will help families with food. Nearly every city in the United States has some form of a food bank. This service provides food for families, and usually, there are no eligibility requirements. The government provides the SNAP food assistance program for single moms or low-income families. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps by providing a means of purchasing food by way of this government grant program. Often called the food stamp program, it’s goal is to help single moms, and low-income families get healthy and nutritious foods so that children can maintain a healthy body and mind.
Another program that is available for single moms and children is the WIC program. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children is a federally funded initiative that aims to provide nutrition education, supplemental food, and health care referrals to each state. WIC also provides nutritious foods for the healthcare for single mothers, and women who fall under the low-income bracket, who are pregnant. This free service has special foods designed for the health of children under five and the unborn child, Certain foods are designated on grocery store shelves, and labeled with the WIC product sticker. Moms can find food items like milk, cheese, eggs, juice, cereal, and baby foods. The most nutritious items that children need to grow on can be obtained through the WIC program for single moms.
There are many insurance companies that provide healthcare for single moms at an affordable rate. If a mother is working and choose to have her own private insurance, some precautions need to be taken. A large copay or a higher deductible may apply in some instances. A program that may offset the cost is to apply for a single mothers government grant. This money is provided to assist single mothers with rent, utilities, medical bills, medication, or for any other reason. These single mother grants are free, meaning that they do not have to be repaid. Applying for this program is easy, just go to the website and fill out the information needed. The health of children is very important, and every child deserves sufficient healthcare coverage. Taking advantage of some of the programs will help ensure a healthy child.