Health Insurance Options

Content by: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Indiana

 Many individuals with disabilities or their families have difficulty affording all the medical needs associated with their care. This document discusses the various options that might be available for people with disabilities (or their families). Where possible, specific contact numbers for further information are listed; where that is not possible, the name of the place in your local community to apply is listed or directions for finding the resource are included.

Private Insurance

Some individuals are able to purchase private insurance or have insurance provided through their or a family member’s employment. The services covered vary from policy to policy and,in some instances, there may be a waiting period before expenses related to cerebral palsy are covered (pre-existing condition limitations). Private insurance carriers can be found through the local yellow pages, the internet and where appropriate the employer.


Individuals with a significant disability, individuals with a low income, and many children are eligible for medical assistance through Indiana Medicaid. There are several different Medicaid programs (Hoosier Healthwise, Medicaid Select and MedWorks, to name a few) and a person may qualify based on just their income (if they are a child or elderly) or based on how cerebral palsy (and other disabling conditions) affects them. Applications for Medicaid are made at the local Division of Family and Children. The local office should be listed in the local phone book under State Agencies. Since there are so many different Medicaid programs it is important to not just accept a denial based on income. It is possible a person may qualify for Medicaid with a monthly spend-down if the medical needs are significant.


Individuals who receive Social Security Disability income are eligible for Medicare after 48 months of having the disability and collecting a monthly check for 12 months. Apply at the Social Security Office or by calling 800-772-1213.

Children’s Special Health Care Services

Children under the age of 22 who have a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy are eligible for this program if the family income is less that 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. For example in 2003 a family of 4 with an income less than $45,250.00 would still qualify for the program. A child may qualify for this program even when there is a private health insurance plan and if the person has Medicaid. Contact the Department of Health (800-475-1355) for all children over age 3 and the First Steps Program (800-441-7837) for children 0-3 years old.

State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

All states have a program similar to Medicaid for children of working families with a low income (200% of Federal Poverty Level, $36,200 for a family of 4 in 2003). This program is similar to Medicaid and is purchased for a small premium for children 0-19.

Find Support

Looking for more information about health insurance?

Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to fellow parents, caregivers, and experts about their experiences dealing with insurers.


Are you looking for resources to help your child?

Check out our Resource Locator to find the government and non-government agencies that can provide the services that your child needs.