There are many ways you can get a free car seat. But, the easiest and best way is to get it through Medicaid.
Medicaid is a government-sponsored insurance program for unprivileged people of any age who cannot afford medical care. It can also be referred to as a health care program and not as an insurance program. The services included in this program are for assisting low-income families and individuals in paying for doctor visits, hospitalizations, long-term medical expenses, custodial care, and more. At present, Medicaid has become one of the largest sources of funding and health care payers in the United States.
Medicaid and CHIP services are one of six among the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which functions under the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This joint program is funded primarily by the federal government and administered at the state level. However, the federal government holds no advantage in deciding and framing policies for the program.
The eligibility criteria for participating and receiving funds or free car seats through this program is based on state policies. Each state has its own margin to monitor and sanction the received requests.
CHIP or the Children’s Health Insurance Program has a primary goal of providing health coverage to children in families who cannot afford private care and have high incomes to receive Medicaid facilities. The federal government handles only the necessary funds and releases them to the required states.
Those families who are not qualified to receive a car seat through Medicaid or do not satisfy the criteria can opt for CHIP, as it is also a good alternative with a primary focus on infant and child health care.
How to get a free car seat through Medicaid?
Medicaid is offered only to individuals and families who meet some specific requirements. If you satisfy all the below-mentioned criteria, then you can apply for a free car seat through Medicaid.
- The main requirement to receive any Medicaid service is your nationality is that the recipient has to be a legal permanent resident or citizen of the United States.
- The second criterion is your income statement and the number of dependents in the income shown. Each state has a different margin on this point, which is calculated by taking the average income required for sustainable livelihoods in that particular area.
- Individuals and families above the minimum earnings criterion can also receive this fund if they have specific disabilities, making their medical expenses consume most of their earnings.
- This point is only relevant to those who have applied for free car seats. Medicaid generally asks you to enroll in a short car seat safety course before sanctioning a free car seat. The course is generally designed to increase awareness of the application of car seats and the proper methods and techniques of installing them.
Check if you are eligible for Medicaid assistance, especially a car seat, by applying through an online form on the Health Insurance Marketplace website.
You can go directly to the website by clicking on this link – https://www.healthcare.gov/
An alternative that you can also apply directly through a state Medicaid agency. You will get the information and the contact information from the link mentioned above.
Once you apply for the program, Medicaid officials will review your application and determined your eligibility, whether you will receive free medical care and related services from any medical provider that accepts the program.
How much does a car seat cost?
On average, most baby car seats cost around $100, but it’s not uncommon to see them priced from $200 to $400! Those that cost $100 are just plastic, without having a minimal cushion to offer comfort to your kids. The sad part is that not everyone can buy the expensive ones.
If you’re having financial difficulties, the last thing you buy is a car seat. Most parents think that belts are enough for the job, but they don’t know there are two benefits of getting a car seat. First, the belt is not enough, and second, the cars don’t have the best of shock absorbents to reduce jerks and sudden bends.
The best option most parents are unaware of is that you can get a free car seat through Medicaid!
And fortunately, there are many other ways also to get a free car seat.
Things to check before installing a free car seat
Remember to keep a few essential things in mind before installing the free car seat for your kids.
First of all, get the seat from a reliable organization. Make sure to collect all the necessary details of the seat. This includes the history of the car seat and whether it is a used one or a new part. It can be tempting to get a used car seat easily from various untrustworthy organizations or other places. The reason you should be cautious about obtaining seats is that you do not know the history of the seat. The seat may have been degraded and may not be safe for use. Or it may have been involved in any time of the crash.
Look for the label on the seat and make sure it indicates that the seat meets or exceeds the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
If possible, ask your pediatrician or surgeon to check the seat, who will help you know your child’s positioning as well as transportation needs.
Some kids require special child seats, and, to their surprise, they come in various specialized forms. This includes baby-only seats, convertible seats, forward-facing seats, or booster seats with belt positioning. Your pediatrician is the professional who knows which type of seat is best for your child.
Medicaid covers the cost of specialty seats if you meet all the required details and documents. Make sure the seat you got from Medicaid was not a special seat made to meet the requirements of any child in the past. Altering them to such seats will not help in offering full safety to your children.
The conclusion –
Car seats are designed to offer safety to your child as it is of utmost importance. A child is a parent’s most precious wealth. Therefore, consider sharing this information as part of your gift in this good act. The information mentioned above can give you entire details on how to get a free car seat through Medicaid.
You can stay up-to-date on Medicaid policies that are present on the official website. New child restraint systems offer more options every year. So, you can always change the free seat if a better one is available.