The Children’s Health Insurance Program (or CHIP) is a national program available in every state. Many families find themselves above the income limit to be eligible for Medicaid but still unable to afford health insurance. CHIP aims to assist these families in getting healthcare coverage by providing children under the age of 19 whose family income is too high to qualify for Medicaid with health insurance at low or no cost. The program is available throughout the nation but requirements vary by state, and the program goes by various names as well. The income limits vary by state and range from as low as 175% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to as high as 300% of the FPL. States operate CHIP as either an expansion of Medicaid, a separate program entirely, or as some combination of the two.

Financing

  Signed into law in 1997, CHIP is funded jointly by the federal government and individual states. The federal government matches a percentage of the amount each state funds. This percentage is

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Access to Health Care

Today, many working individuals in America do not have health insurance and as a result do not have access to quality health care services.  Their employers may not provide coverage, or they may earn too little to buy affordable health insurance or earn too much to receive other types of public assistance.  These are the “working uninsured” who, in many communities, turn to Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) clinics and other safety-net clinics for access to health care services.

Services provided in VIM Clinics

VIM clinics provide health care services free of charge.  Retired and practicing medical professionals volunteer their time and expertise to give back to their neighbors, treating diseases like hypertension, diabetes, mental health issues, and obesity.  Specialized services offered in many VIM clinics range from pediatrics and dentistry to ophthalmology and counseling. VIM clinics are supported by the local community and the services offered are based on the needs and resources in each community.

VIM Clinics and a Culture of Caring

VIM clinics promote a “Culture of Caring” wherein each patient

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This week we are taking another look at online resources that the staff at NeedyMeds think our readers will find helpful. These are some great organizations doing great work, and we think they deserve to be highlighted. If you missed the first installment you can read it here.

Men’s Health Network – The Men’s Health Network is a non-profit organization with the goal of educating men on their health risks – and what they can do to live a longer healthier life. Their website has lots of information. Their blog, “Talking about men’s health,” is updated almost daily with stories and information on healthcare targeted towards men. The Men’s Health Library provides access to government and private sector publications, reports, and analyses that pertain to health, social science, and gender issues. Their resource center is also worth checking out, with handy infographics on scheduling check-ups, and a men’s health A-Z guide.

National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics

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For today’s blog post we would like to share with our readers some fantastic online healthcare resources. There are many websites out there dedicated to healthcare, some great and some not-so-great. Here are four resources that the staff at NeedyMeds think you will find helpful.

Together Rx Access – Together Rx Access provides a number of different resources for patients and healthcare professionals alike. They have partnered with a number of the nation’s leading pharmaceutical companies to offer a free drug discount card program for those without prescription drug coverage. Furthermore, their website has extensive articles on the Affordable Care Act and healthcare reform as well as a “Better Health” section with articles and insights on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They also have an entire “Resources For Professionals” section with information for patient advocates and other healthcare professionals.

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs – Consumer Reports is a non-profit

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The passing of the Affordable Care Act has implemented a number of changes to American healthcare. Many of these changes directly affect families, the elderly, and people with pre-existing conditions, leaving many of 20-somethings wondering “What does this mean for me?” One major impact of the new law is that young adults can stay on their parents’ healthcare plan until age 26. Before the passing of the Affordable Care Act children could only stay on their parents’ insurance up to age 19, with exceptions for full-time students. Since the law has been enacted, over 3 million young adults have gained insurance.

As a recent college graduate, I took full advantage of the new law and remained on my parents’ insurance until 26. After that I had options – lots of options – most of which I knew very little about (sound familiar?). I did know that as a Massachusetts resident I had to be insured, or I would face an increase on my taxes.

The first option was to wait for an open enrollment period and get back on my parents’

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