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Mended Little HeartGuide

Introduction Contents SECTION Disability Coverage If you or your child has a condition that might qualify for disability coverage, visit the office of Social Security’s website at www.ssa.gov. There, you can find out whether the diagnosis meets the qualifications for coverage and what information you need to apply. If disability coverage is a good option for your child, start the application process as soon as possible after birth. If you are applying for a child transitioning to adult care, be sure to get the application completed and turned in at least six months before his or her 18th birthday. Adult disability is called SSDI. Child disability is called SSI. Also, you may qualify for coverage for infant formula for your baby through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Learn more about WIC at www.fns.usda.gov. Benefits for Adults With CHD Adults with CHD may want to consider insurance benefits when deciding on employment opportunities. They may find that taking a lower-paying job with better medical benefits makes more financial sense in the long run. There is support available for these adults. Their doctors may be able to connect them with social workers who can assist. They can also call their local Social Security office about disability benefits, and their local human services office and state department of health may also be able to steer them toward resources. No Coverage If you find yourself without health care coverage, look into low-cost or sliding-fee centers in your area. You can research these online or ask a social worker at your local health center to help. These clinics are available for health care and dental care in most cities. About My Child’s Heart Table of Cost Estimates Many hospitals now have a mechanism to provide cost estimates for procedures or appointments for people without insurance. Sometimes they are billed at a lesser rate and they may be eligible for charity care funding. If you are without insurance coverage, contact your hospital or clinic in advance to discuss costs and payment options to help you plan. Financial Assistance in Hospitals Most hospitals have a community care program that offers financial assistance to patients with no or poor insurance. You may be asked to fill out a financial form and to explain your circumstances. The hospital might be willing to reduce your bill or work out a reasonable payment plan with you. It is important to do this in a timely manner, however, as unpaid bills will eventually be sent to collections, at which point they can affect your credit rating and may no longer be negotiable. Go To 26


Mended Little HeartGuide
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