Since 2007, the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation, UHCCF, has awarded more than 10,000 grants valued at more than $29 million to children and their families across the United States.
The grants help bridge the gap for families who have private insurance but may not be able to afford the out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as deductibles or co-payments for the medical needs of children with chronic illnesses or who face major surgeries.
The foundation is encouraging more families to apply, saying few families from Texas applied last year.
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"We've helped more than 700 families and provided more than $2.1 million in grants to these families. However, we have many more families that we can help. We are trying to spread the awareness that these grants are available for these families and we want more families to apply," said Joanne Shuey, UHCCF spokesperson.
The money helps pay for treatments, medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.
Rhonda Brown Crowder, of Grand Prairie, applied for grant money to help with applied behavioral analysis therapy for her autistic son, Caleb, after learning, even with health insurance coverage, therapy would cost her thousands of dollars.
"It was very disheartening and frustrating to know that there was something could help him, but we, as parents, were unable to provide it for him," Brown Crowder said.
The grants she received now pays for Caleb's therapy.
"I feel like now my son has a fair chance in life," she said.
UHCCF is launching an awareness campaign to inform people about the foundation and encourage families to apply for grants here.
Eligible families must already carry commercial/private insurance.
Families on medicaid or medicare are ineligible.