Welcoming a child into your family is one of the most joyful moments parents experience. By comparison, learning your child’s illness is one of the most devastating situations you can face. From cancer to Covid-19, children are susceptible to diseases and illnesses, and some children require long-term medical care.
Medical treatment is expensive. For example, it can cost over $100,000 for cancer treatment. In addition to the cost of health insurance, copays, and medications, you may also need to pay for in-home nursing care, childcare, and tutoring. Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to cover the costs stemming from a child’s illness.
Apply for government assistance programs.
Whether you’re in New Jersey or Oregon, the federal government has assistance programs to help you manage your finances while caring for a child with a chronic health condition. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers financial assistance to people affected by cancer and other diseases through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Qualifying families may receive food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). You may also qualify for affordable daycare services or government health insurance through Medicaid. Medicaid offers health insurance for low-income families. In some cases, medical services provided through Medicaid are free, while others receive low-cost medical care.
Your child will need to see a pediatrician and may also need to receive treatment from specialists. Google “child healthcare in Chatham, NJ” to learn about healthcare providers in your area. Research local pediatricians to local medical providers who accept your health insurance plan to ensure you have access to affordable health care.
Apply for financial assistance from nonprofit organizations.
Multiple nonprofit organizations provide practical and financial assistance for people with medical needs.
Pharmaceutical patient assistance programs are an excellent option for children with chronic health conditions. These programs typically provide low-cost medications to patients with financial needs. Some pharmaceutical programs also offer financial aid.
Families in need may also receive financial assistance from organizations such as CancerCare, which offers funds to cover copay costs. CancerCare also provides free resources for patients, including access to counselors, social workers, and support groups.
You may need to travel to take your child to specialists or special facilities where they can receive treatment. If you need to travel, you’ll likely need accommodations, which can increase your expenses. Fortunately, the Ronald McDonald House and American Cancer Society offer low-cost lodging for families who need to travel for medical treatment.
In addition to low-cost housing, the American Cancer Society also provides free transportation to medical appointments, helping reduce your expenses. You can also turn to the American Cancer Society to locate other financial resources you can use to reduce your costs.
Consider faith-based support options.
Several faith-based groups offer practical and financial support to families coping with medical issues. In most cases, anyone can access the support, even if they aren’t a member of the religious organizations. Catholic, Lutheran, and Jewish charities offer multiple types of support, including money to purchase groceries, rental assistance, and financial assistance with utility bills, child care costs, and other expenses.
Use your assets.
Say you have a life insurance policy for your child. You may opt to pursue a viatical settlement or a life settlement. Instead of cashing the policy in for the face value of the policy, you’ll sell the life insurance policy through a broker. Both viatical and life settlement policies pay more than the cash value of the policy. The policyholder must be terminally or chronically ill to qualify for a viatical settlement, so viatical settlements pay more than life settlements. There are no restrictions on how you can use the funds, enabling you to use the cash to cover medical expenses, practical expenses, and other costs.
Caring for a sick child is expensive. You can manage your finances by turning to government support programs for financial assistance. These programs can provide crucial income while reducing your expenses, enabling you to stretch your funds. You can also turn to nonprofit organizations and religious organizations to manage your costs for financial and practical assistance. Using your assets can also help you afford the cost of medical care.