There are several options for paying for health care.
- Save money each month and use that money to pay your medical expenses.
- Get health insurance
- Health insurance means a program that helps pay for your medical expenses. There are many types of health insurance and it is important to study your options carefully.
- Just because you have health insurance it doesn’t mean it will pay for all the expenses you have. Again, it is critical to understand your health insurance policy.
- Even with health insurance, you will usually have costs you have to pay. These include:
- premiums (an amount you pay each month to have health insurance),
- co-payments (each time you receive a medical service, you may have to pay part of the bill)
- deductibles (sometimes you have to pay a certain amount toward your medical bills before health insurance will start to pay anything)
- If you have a job, you may be able to enroll in a health insurance plan through your employer. If you are working, ask your employer about health insurance.
- If you don’t have a job, or the business where you are working doesn’t offer health insurance, you can buy private health insurance.
- If you are thinking about buying private health insurance coverage, it is important to check out the companies very carefully – what will they cover? How much is the monthly premium? How high is the deductible?
- Sometimes insurance companies refuse to sell health insurance to people with expensive medical conditions.
- Medicaid is a federal and state government program that pays for medical care for some low-income and medically needy people.
For state-by-state information about Medicaid for people with cognitive disabilities, visit: http://www.thedesk.info/
- Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities, and any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant). http://www.medicare.gov/
- CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) provides coverage for eligible Montana children up to age 19. The child must not be eligible for Medicaid and must meet income guidelines.
- The Disability Services Division (DSD) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is to provide services that help Montanans with disabilities to live, work and fully participate in their communities.
- DPHHS offers mental health programs for children and adults.
- If you don’t have health insurance and need help paying for your prescriptions, visit the DPHHS website to learn about other programs that might be able to assist you:
- Be sure to save your medical bills, “Explanation of Benefit” forms from health insurance companies, and proof of payments you’ve made toward your medical bills. You may need these at tax time or if there are questions about how much you owe the medical providers.
- When you file taxes at the end of the year, you may be able to claim part of the medical expenses you have paid for with your own money. Ask your tax preparer if you are allowed to claim your medical expenses.