Unfortunately, our financial situation can become out of our control. We may lose our job, lose a loved one, or incur some medical expenses that we can’t cover. Health care is one of the first things to go in this situation because of its high costs and the fact that some people actually view it as a luxury.
Luckily, there are some government assistance programs that can help these people get health care coverage when they are having a hard time being able to pay for it. Here are some of the most important government assistance programs for health care. Medicare was first introduced in the 1960s as part of the Social Security Act and has since become the most widely used government program for health care. Anyone over the age of 65 is eligible for Medicare. Medicare itself is broken up into parts A, B, C, and D.
Each part revolves around a different aspect of health care. For instance, part one part deals with hospitals and inpatient care while another part is designed for outpatient care. There is also a section designed solely for prescription medicine. If you are over 65, investigate Medicare and what it could do for you as a health care option. Medicare is also available to people under 65 who have certain terminal illnesses like renal failure.
Many people confuse Medicare and Medicaid as being the same thing. This misconception is understandable since they have similar names, but they are different. Medicare is designed mostly to cover the elderly while Medicaid exists to help people of all ages with a financial need get health care coverage. They are also different because Medicare operates at the federal level while Medicaid operates at the state level. To be eligible for Medicaid, you must have a financial need. The coverage covers just about every typical health care service you can get. Like Medicare, the cost varies from person to person based on need and the amount of the deductible. There are some people that will be eligible for Medicaid at no cost at all.
Children’s Health Insurance Program
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is similar to Medicaid in that it is run by the states, but is guided by federal requirements. It is designed for children of families with an income not low enough to qualify for Medicaid that can’t afford health insurance. In some states, the program is run as a part of Medicaid while in others it is an entirely separate department. It is a relatively new program, signed into law in just twenty years ago, but has gone a long way towards helping children and pregnant women get health care coverage when they otherwise could not afford it.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Those with addiction issues and mental health problems have trouble getting the appropriate health care they need. Many private a marketplace-provided insurance plans neglect to include this provision in their coverage. The SAMSHA was first initiated in 1992 to help these people get help. This gap may seem small, but there are almost 12 million people with mental health issues in the United States that couldn’t get proper care. This administration, largely funded by grants, is working to get more of those people care and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction issues.
Veterans Health Administration
You can’t mention government assistance programs without talking about the Veterans Health Administration, the largest government health care program in the country. Designed to help veterans of the U.S. military, there are over one thousand facilities dedicated to helping the almost 9 million veterans currently getting health care through the VHA. This program was first started in 1930 by President Herbert Hoover and has since grown to over 100 full-time hospitals nationwide. These are five of the most commonly used government programs for health care in the United States. If you don’t currently have medical insurance and can’t afford it, look into one of these programs to see if you may qualify for some assistance. Medicaid is available for anyone over 65, the age group that uses medical services the most. No child or adult should be refused health care just because they can’t afford it and these programs are designed to help end that.