When your child is ill or dealing with a medical challenge, the last thing you want to worry about is the financial aspect of his or her treatment. Of course, if you have good-quality health benefits, then you won’t even have to give it a second thought, right? Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case. In some instances, there may be important medical equipment, therapies or services that your child needs but your insurance plan doesn’t cover, turning them into substantial out-of-pocket expenses. What do you do then? You turn to the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF).
“The grants the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation distributes cover a whole range of services that traditional insurance may not cover,” says Rick Elliott, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Georgia. “The goal is to help parents who have health insurance but are being impacted by this additional significant financial output. UHCCF aims to support them in their time of need.”
Did you know?
The UHCCF does not require grant recipients to carry health insurance from UnitedHealthcare. Grants are given to applicants across all healthcare plans—even to those who have medical benefits with UnitedHealthcare’s competitors.
In 2009, the UHCCF assisted more than 450 families nationwide, providing medical grants valued at $1.48 million, with an average grant of approximately $3,300. Many of those families hail from Georgia and the surrounding states and were selected by the UHCCF Southeast Regional Board of Directors after they submitted applications online. Grant awards were based on the family’s financial situation, particular needs and additional application criteria which can be found on the foundation’s Web site at www.uhccf.org.
UnitedHealthcare employee volunteers in Georgia have done quite a bit to help achieve the organization’s overriding mission, increasing the number of contributions received from business partners, corporations and individuals between 2008 and 2009 through an array of fundraising efforts, including the annual Georgia Golf Classic held at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta and a successful community bowling event hosted in partnership with the Atlanta Falcons, among other functions and endeavors.
“Given the state of the economy, the remarkable growth we have seen is truly a reflection of the hard work of our volunteers,” Elliott observes. “Giving back to the community is part of the UnitedHealthcare culture—it’s embedded in the fabric of our organization, our leadership and our people. And from my own personal experience, I know that with any kind of volunteerism, you always get more out of it than you give.”
What UHCCF’s volunteers get from their compassionate efforts is the satisfaction that they not only are helping families to avoid sinking into deep financial straits, but also providing children with the resources they need to recover fully from an injury or illness or develop pivotal skills, thereby enhancing their quality of life.
As Elliott concludes, “Families that receive a grant are incredibly appreciative and excited—they’re often overwhelmed to be given that kind of support. And we are thrilled that we’ve been able to contribute towards the growing demand for grants—we know that every little bit helps. Right now, we’re actually a well-kept secret. We just want to make people aware that we’re here and let them know that we want to help.”
To apply for a child medical grant or to make a contribution, please visit www.uhccf.org.
Top Medical Conditions of UHCCF Grant Recipients
In 2009, the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation helped hundreds of children with a wide variety of medical conditions, including the following:
• Autism: Grants covered therapies, applied behavioral analysis, psychotherapy, sensory integration and hippotherapy
• Speech delay: Grants covered therapies, durable medical equipment, communication devices and applied behavioral analysis
• Hearing loss: Grants covered hearing aids and therapies
• Cerebral palsy: Grants covered therapies, testing, communications devices and durable medical equipment
• Developmental delay: Grants covered over-the-counter and prescription medications