Friday, May 17, 2013

$5,000 Grants Help Children Get the Care they Need

Four-year-old Alexander could hear the sounds. He could see the way the lips of others moved and he understood everything he needed to do to say the words. But his mouth and tongue didn’t seem to work and no one could understand what he said. It was frustrating for this happy and sociable pre-schooler, and even more frustrating for his parents who were running out of money to pay for the therapy he needed.

It’s called Apraxia of speech, and the special speech therapy needed to help Alexander and other children with this physical disability to overcome it is usually not covered by health insurance.

Luckily, Alexander’s mom, found out about the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) from a friend she saw at a business conference. Alexander's mom applied for and was awarded a grant.

Alexander’s grant paid for intensive speech therapy sessions with a licensed speech therapist.  Alexander improved rapidly and his mom reports that she now understands nearly 50 percent of what he says, whereas it used to be only about 20 percent.

UHCCF awards grants of up to $5,000 to families nationwide to help pay the cost of their children’s health care treatments, medical services and equipment not covered or fully covered by their commercial health insurance such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids. UHCCF grants are available throughout the year for families with children aged 16 and under.

 To be eligible for a grant, your child must be 16 years of age or younger. In addition your family must meet economic guidelines; you must reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses you have incurred for your child 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. A parent or legal guardian may apply for grants at, and there is no application deadline.

In 2012, UHCCF awarded more than 1,300 grants, worth more than $4.1 million, to families across the United States for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at

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