For the Mark family of Buffalo Grove, Ill., meeting healthcare costs has often been challenging.
Elizabeth, 12, was diagnosed with central auditory processing disorder, a speech and language disorder, as well as severe idiopathic constipation. Her 9-year-old brother Michael was born with Hirschsprung’s Disease, a congenital condition that affects the large intestine and that initially required round-the-clock hospital care. The family has faced emotional stress wrought by serious and chronic illness, and they’ve dealt with mounting and, at times, overwhelming medical bills.
Seeking help, Elizabeth and Michael’s mother Katherine applied for UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) medical grants to help her children gain access to health-related services.
“At first, I didn’t know much about the program,” she said. “But I’m so glad I took the time to learn. It’s made a huge difference in all of our lives.”
The UHCCF grant program offers medical grants to help families pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance. Since 2007, UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation has awarded more than 18,000 grants valued at more than $45 million to children and their families across the United States. The Mark family has received grants from UHCCF to pay for Michael’s therapies, X-rays, specialty doctors and medications not fully covered by insurance. For Elizabeth, the grants have helped pay for weekly speech therapy and counseling.
“The help the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation has given us has been amazing, and I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful a resource the program has been for our family,” Katherine said. “We’re so grateful.”
Today, Elizabeth enjoys playing softball, singing in the church choir and baking while Michael loves building projects and science activities, and had the chance to play on a baseball team for the first time this spring.
To be eligible for a grant, a child must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application, as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Families do not need to have insurance through UnitedHealthcare to be eligible.
“Thousands of families have already been helped by our Foundation grants, but we know many more families are in need,” said UHCCF President Matt Peterson. “Join us in sharing the news that child medical grants are available so that we can help more children and families across the country.”
Do you know a family who could use a child medical grant? Visit www.UHCCF.org and sign up to receive foundation announcements and information, including examples of messages that can be easily shared via social media and help get the word out that child medical grants are available.