Costs of Caregiving – Part III

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • Parts I and II of this three-part series presented a starting place to help you think about the financial implications of acid reflux. Part III provides a few tips to help you sort through the financial jungle of potential funding sources.

    Many factors will affect the level of financial support you may qualify for if your baby or child is chronically ill. What state you live in, your present income, and the severity of your child’s illness are just a few of the many variables. However, there are at least three avenues of funding that are available to most of us: community-based programs, private insurance, and state and federal programs.

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    Depending on where you live, community-based programs may provide your family with some much-needed assistance. These programs may include support groups, specialized family-service agencies or church-related organizations. One of the best guides for your local community may be your reference librarian, or another local family who is living with a similar health situation (no reason to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to).

    If you are one of the lucky families with private health insurance, you may be entitled to more benefits than you realized prior to caring for a family member with a chronic illness. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your local insurance representative. Let him or her know that your circumstances have changed and ask for any suggestions for assistance you might not be aware of (my husband actually has “Ryan’s” cell phone number programmed into his, for all of those insurance company difficulties we often encounter).

    State and federal programs are another place to look for support. Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income are potential financial benefits for your family. Income tax benefits may also be available for medical expenses, education or travel related to getting the best help for your child.

    Undoubtedly, you’ll need to do some homework to help sort through the financial maze. But like the other aspects of your caregiving, you can do it, with patience and persistence.

Published On: December 20, 2006