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Every person hopes to receive the best medical care possible. But when you, your child,or someone else in your family has special needs, top-notch care is critical. It also tends to be far more expensive and far more complex, as those needs often go far beyond the typical pediatrician visits. Covering this level of care, while making ends meet, can mean a real financial strain. Fortunately, there are a number of programs that can help.

planning options for special needs

Needs-Based Government Benefits Programs

Our government offers a variety of assistance to people who need help paying for health care. Your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace is a good place to start your search. There, you can find out if you’re eligible for a variety of programs or reduced private insurance premiums through a state-administered program. is a helpful tool that provides information about state government-run healthcare assistance programs available for children.


Medicaid is the first health care safety net for many Americans. The program provides medical benefits to low-income adults and children who are uninsured or underinsured. To learn if you are eligible for Medicaid, visit your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace or, if your state doesn’t have its own Marketplace, visit

No matter the state, the federal government requires all Medicaid programs to cover these certain basic services:

  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital services
  • Physician services
  • Nursing facility services
  • Laboratory and X-ray fees
  • Home health services
  • Certified pediatric and family nurse practitioner services
  • Transportation to and from medical care

States may also cover additional services through their Medicaid programs, including:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Intermediate care facility services for persons with intellectual disabilities
  • Speech, hearing and language disorder services

Click here for a list of services covered by your state’s Medicaid program.


Nearly 9 million children are enrolled in CHIP. This program helps families who fall between traditional public programs and private health insurance options. When children in lower-income families are not eligible for Medicaid, and private insurance is too expensive, CHIP may be able to help.

CHIP is financed by federal and state governments, but the funds are administered by individual states. Eligibility requirements vary by state. Most states cover children whose families are at or above 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. You can learn more about applying for CHIP through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) helps people with special needs pay for food, clothing and shelter. The program is only available for families with limited income and few assets. You can apply for SSI benefits online or call the Social Security Administration to schedule an appointment.

To learn about your family’s eligibility for a broader array of government benefits, you can visit The Benefit Finder is a guided form that will evaluate your family’s eligibility for over 1,000 state and federal benefits programs. Simply fill out the form, and the Benefit Finder will do the rest.

It’s important to note that if you are about to receive a settlement in a personal injury case, that money could affect your future eligibility for some government benefits programs. Feel free to contact Milestone with any questions.



Planning for Settlement? We Can Help.

John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process as co-founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at

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