If you have always had good insurance, it may have never crossed your mind about whether you could afford to take your child to the doctor when sick, go to well-check visits or get your child immunized. You just do it. That is how we were until January of this year when our insurance changed to a Health Savings Account. Then, we started monitoring when we should take the boys or ourselves to the doctor; how sick was sick enough to spend the money to go to the doctor.
One pediatrician visit for one of my Darling Boys this winter cost us over $250 just to determine he had strep throat. Then, in April, we had to go it alone and find our own insurance, which surprisingly enough, we found good insurance for a reasonable amount.
However, the truth is that with the economy going south and jobs being slashed more and more people do not have insurance or have insurance that barely covers anything. So, what would you do if you couldn't afford to have your child immunized and insurance didn't cover the costs?
Vaccines for Children
Have no fear; there is a federally-funded program that is administered through the states called, Vaccines for Children (VFC) that provides vaccines free of charge for children up to 18 years old to those who meet the eligibility requirements. In general, kids are eligible if they have no insurance, qualify for Medicaid, are underinsured or are American Indian or Alaska Native.
Vaccines for Children came about after a measles outbreak in the U.S. that began in 1989 and lasted until 1991, sickening thousands of people and killing hundreds. In response, as a part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) in 1993, Congress created Vaccines for Kids. Talk to your pediatrician about this program or check for your state's VFC site, or check your state's immunization site for more information.
You can get your child immunized regardless of your financial situation. It just takes a little research and documentation. Don't let the mighty dollar stand in your way of maintaining a healthy child. Over and out...
You might also like: