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Help for children with costly medical needs

April 3, 2009 |  3:20 pm

Families of children who require medical care or products that are not covered by their health insurance and are otherwise unaffordable can apply for grants to help pay for those needs from the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation, the organization announced yesterday.

For several years, UHCCF has made grants of up to $5,000 available to pay for treatment, services or equipment not covered by insurance, or not fully covered. These are the kinds of products or services that may be partially covered by insurance but are so expensive that families cannot afford their share of the costs. The most common grants, which average $3,000, are to pay for hearing aids; speech, occupational or physical therapy; or some type of medical equipment. In 2008, UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation helped nearly 600 children nationwide whose families were struggling to pay their share of the costs of medically related services and equipment.

The program is open to families enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans or who have purchased an individual policy. Parents or legal guardians may apply for a grant by completing an online application at Visitors to the site can also make tax-deductible donations online.

-- Shari Roan