Financial and Health Insurance Issues

Here you will find expert suggestions on dealing with all financial and health issues surrounding individuals with disabilities. Here you will find information on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance, Food Stamps etc.

To properly plan for the financial future of a student with disabilities, students and parents must be aware of the options and incentives that are available during the transition process. A very important part of this process is helping children with disabilities manage to the best of their ability their finances or other affairs. The purpose of this section is to give you, the special educator, and a strong working knowledge of the financial considerations that all children with disabilities must face in their transition to adult life.

This section will also focus on health insurance issues facing parents and individuals with disabilities. Chronic illness, disability, or severe injury creates great stress for family and friends. The adjustment for a family with a child who has a severe or complex health issue can be very intense and taxing; the special needs of this child require a focus on many issues. Concerns surrounding the child's well-being, health, daily life, and constantly changing future expectations are magnified. As the health field changes and technology and terminology expand, parents must learn new skills and acquire a wide range of knowledge to ensure that a child's ongoing health needs are properly addressed.

With the expansion of technology and improved medical care also comes the burden of growing medical costs. As a result, parents of children with chronic disabilities have the added anxiety of finding the resources necessary for medical attention and recommended equipment.

Many people with disabilities are eligible for benefits under one or more of several government programs. These programs are designed to protect the person with a disability by making sure that the person's financial resources are sufficient to provide the basic necessities of life--food, clothing, and health care.

To plan for the future of a child with disabilities, individuals must be aware of and use the many programs sponsored by the federal government and operated through a federal state partnership. These are called entitlement programs. Some of them are provided for large portions of the population in general--not just for persons with disabilities; other programs are specifically for people with disabilities. With a well-planned combination of services and, where possible, by supplementing these services with private assets, a parent can establish a relatively secure financial future for a son or daughter.

Benefits include more than money: The individual may also be eligible for valuable services such as health care, vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, subsidized housing and personal attendant care. Assets acquired through inheritance may affect eligibility for those benefits. Therefore, in order to protect the individual’s eligibility for government benefits at some point in the future and to provide for his or her long-term needs, the parent may want to consider establishing an individual estate plan.

The need for a clear-cut, long-range plan is needed in cases where a daughter/son has cognitive or mental disabilities. Mental illness and cognitive disabilities often impair a person's ability to manage his or her own finances. Parents, will therefore have to provide for the present as well as the future of their daughter/son.

The purpose of this section is to give you a strong working knowledge of health insurance issues for individuals with disabilities. After reading this section, you should understand the following:

  • Insurance options
  • HMOs (health management organizations)
  • PPOs ( preferred provider organizations)
  • Indemnity plans
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Medicaid waivers
  • Social Security Administration
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Criteria for determining SSI
  • How to sign up for SSI benefits
  • What to bring when signing up for SSI benefits
  • Work incentives
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Food stamps
  • Entitlement Programs
  • Exploring Insurance Options
  • Kinds of Insurance Policies
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Medicaid Waivers

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