Beyond Insurance: Financial Help for Families of Hospitalized Kids

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For many families of children facing hospitalization for chronic conditions or emergency care, concerns about the well-being of their son or daughter far outweigh worries about paying the bills. But even with many hospital charges covered by medical insurance, families may find that other costs — travel expenses, lodging and meals, and other necessities — add up quickly, creating an additional burden on already-stretched finances.

Fortunately, there are organizations dedicated to supporting families facing financial hardships due to a child’s hospitalization. The list below provides resources for free or reduced-cost transportation, housing and other needs related to a child’s hospitalization. Some resources are location- or condition-specific or may require certain criteria be met.

In addition, many hospitals offer assistance to families through reduced-rate meals for parents, hospitality suites with kitchen and laundry facilities, and gift cards or referrals to local businesses that offer discounts to families of patients. Ask the hospital case worker about what kind of support, financial or otherwise, is available during a child’s stay.

Families might also consider an online giving site, such as giveforward.com, as a way to offer friends and relatives — who may want to help but live too far away — an easy way to provide the gift of financial support and peace of mind.

Air Transportation

•     Airlift Hope of N.C. – airlifthope.org; 800-325-8908

•     Angel Flight – angelflightsoars.org; 877-426-2643

•     Children’s Flight of Hope – cfoh.org; 919-460-4334

•     Corporate Angel Network – corpangelnetwork.org; 866-328-1313

•     Mercy Medical Airlift – mercymedical.org; 888-675-1405

•     National Patient Travel Helpline – patienttravel.org; 800-296-1217

Ground Transportation

•     Angel Bus – angel-bus.org; 800-768-0238

Lodging

•     Healthcare Hospitality Network – nahhh.org; 800-542-9730

•     Joe’s House –  joeshouse.org; 877-563-7468

•     National Patient Travel Helpline – patienttravel.org; 800-296-1217

•     Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill – rmh-chapelhill.org; 919-913-2040 (also operates the Ronald McDonald Family Room at North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill)

•     Ronald McDonald House of Durham – ronaldhousedurham.org; 919-286-9305 (also operates Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Duke Medical Center in Durham and WakeMed Children’s Hospital in Raleigh)

Financial support and miscellaneous services

•     Me Fine Foundation – mefinefoundation.org; 919-202-0086

•     The MORGAN Project – themorganproject.org

•     Patient Advocate Foundation – patientadvocate.org/resources; 800-532-5274

Karen Lewis Taylor is a writer, editor and mother of two. She and her family live in Apex.

Categories: BT Health & Wellness, Early Education, Exceptional Child, Family Health, Fit Family Challenge, Health, Health & Wellness, Health and Development, Nutrition, Preschool Health & Wellness, SK Health & Wellness