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 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 A deals with hospitals and inpatient care while part B is designed for outpatient care. whereas part D is a section designed solely for prescription medicine. If you are over 65, you should 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 to 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 healthcare 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 marketplace-provided insurance plans but 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.
Other Programs Available to the Public
The United States Government provides over 2,000 Federal support program options. The goal of the varied programs is to help the public with financial assistance, services, and more. A majority of federal support comes from the following U.S. federal agencies:
- Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Department of the Interior (DOI)
- Department of the Agriculture (USDA)
- Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly six in seven households are receiving government benefit from various federally managed aid programs. Federal help seems to denote that families and individuals are getting hand-out money from federal agencies because they are considered poor. However, options like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance plans also include the middle-class. To find out what all the relief programs entail, send for the current copy of the 2018-2019 Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (“CFDA”). The CFDA identifies lots of government programs, including how and where you can apply for those that fit your situation.
Temporary Aid For Needy Families (TANF)
The TANF plan is federally sponsored through The HHS Administration for Children and Families Department. Each U.S. State is given TANF funds to provide services and products for the working poor families, low-income families, and seniors who meet certain financial requirements. TANF relief programs include monetary support, job training, educational training, abused or neglected children, transportation systems, and other services as identified by the states. TANF is designed to keep families together and continue to let older Americans live with a decent quality of life with each state’s varied programs. Commonly called “welfare,” TANF helps provide curriculums to keep unmarried teens from getting pregnant and to help people get off of federal support and enable them to secure a job
Housing Assistance For Veterans
HUD and the VA work together in the Housing aid for Veterans arrangements. The goal is to help homeless veterans and their families find permanent housing. HUD provides rental help in the form of vouchers for housing. The VA assigns case managers to support veterans with health care, mental health solutions, addictive counseling, transportation, and more. Inside the Housing program options for vets is the “Enhanced-Use Lease Program (‘EUL’)” that helps existing VA campuses with extra land buildings, convert them to housing units for homeless veterans and veterans who are about to lose their homes. Under the EUL plan, veterans and their family members can receive job training, how to manage money counseling, personal grooming vouchers, gym memberships, computer training, healthcare, and more.
Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
HEAP is a federal compensation plan that is sponsored by the HHS Department. It is a national arrangement that helps low-income families get help with their energy bills. Additional support under HEAP includes payment help for certain bills, home repairs, and other services depending on each state’s needs. Payments are provided to eligible low-income individuals and families. However, the payments are made directly to the electric or gas utility company. HEAP is not necessarily designated for seniors, but when it is initiated, usually once a year during the Fall, seniors are to sign up first, followed by the public. To qualify, people must meet the annual household income that falls below 60% of the State Median Income levels. HEAP also supports families with emergency needs like not having money for their utilities which is about to be turned off within a 48 hour period. Other emergencies can include low-income families suddenly impacted by a natural disaster which is called emergency weatherization support. Weatherization help is further supported by the Department of Energy. Weatherization can include replacing insulation, replacing windows, doors, heaters, furnaces, and other fixtures.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
The Social Security Disability Insurance is managed by the Social Security Administration of the U.S. Federal government. This national federal plan provides assistance to adults and children with disabilities. The agencies involved in this federal aid arrangement is SSDI and SSI. SSDI pays benefits to individuals who have paid into the Social Security taxes. The SSI procedure provides benefits for children and adults who barely have enough income to live on. SSDI is a temporary or a permanent system depending on the disability. Signing up for SSDI is as easy as going to your local Social Security Office or sign-up online.
Food And Nutrition Services
The Food and Nutrition federally funded services are managed by the USDA. The goal is to help improve the health of low-income children, infants, and adults. The USDA Food and Nutrition Services Departments supports a variety of nutritious methods to help the following:
- The elderly
- Indian Reservations
- Low-income families
- Food banks and food kitchens
- Schools for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and summer food schedules
- Adult day care centers
- Homeless shelters
- Afterschool Meals
- WIC Farmer Market plans
For low-income families to enter the middle class, federal spending on a hands-up system should be supported in order to give them opportunities to prosper on their own. That means federal support with health insurance, food, housing, home energy, and education so these Americans can concentrate on opportunities to join the middle class.