The ability for Americans to pay for their health expenses has become increasingly difficult as health care costs continue to rise. And this problem has only worsened as we continue to struggle through the current economic recession. This is why so many of us are turning to health care financing grants to help cover the costs of essential health procedures. These financing grants are sponsored mainly by the government but can also be found in private businesses and foundations as well.
The US government has several grant programs to help Americans finance their health care needs. First and most well known is the Medicaid plan. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage to certain categories of low-income individuals, including children, pregnant women, parents of eligible children, and people with disabilities. This financing grant is meant to help pay for some or all of the medical bills for these eligible individuals that have no medical insurance or poor health insurance. But the financial aid is usually only received when all other third-party resources (e.g., private health Insurance, Medicare, personal injury settlements) have met their legal obligation to do so.
The federal government establishes requirements for service delivery, quality, funding and eligibility standards, but each state is responsible for the day to day operations. And many of the states like to make the Medicaid program their own by putting their own unique name on the service in their state. For example, Medicaid in the state of California is referred to as Medi-Cal, while in Oregon the same service is called Oregon Health Plan.
And just to see how many people benefit from the Medicaid financing grant we can look at the figures from 2008: Medicaid provided health coverage and services to approximately 49 million low-income children, pregnant women, elderly persons, and disabled individuals.
Currently Medicaid payments give financing grants that cover nearly 60 percent of all nursing home residents and about 37 percent of all childbirths in the United States. In fact, combined federal and state spending on the Medicaid program currently exceeds $300 billion each year. It is the largest or second-largest item in state budgets, and is second only to Medicare in terms of federal spending on health care.
Medicare and Medicaid, while similar, should not be confused. This grant has nothing to do with financial need. To be considered you must be an elderly person over the age of 65, suffer from certain disabilities or have renal disease and you will likely qualify for this health care financing grant supplied by the US federal government.
But not to worry if you do not qualify for these government health care financing grants; you will likely be eligible to receive grant money to cover your medical obligations from private businesses and foundations.