South Carolina medical assistance programs include fully state-organized programs as well as SC branches of government-funded medical assistance services. Health assistance programs offered in SC include special programs for children's medical benefits and programs for the disabled, the elderly and those on low incomes. You can use assistance from such South Carolina health assistance programs to receive discounted rates on prescriptions, physical exams, outpatient procedures and inpatient medical care if your medical expenses are too high for you to afford. In order to apply for SC medical assistance you must begin by identifying programs which cater to people of your age and with your particular needs. You must then follow the appropriate steps to enroll in the program or programs you select. Below is information about each of the most common forms of South Carolina medical assistance, including the qualification requirements and the services offered by each program.
Medicaid (Healthy Connections) in South Carolina
Medicaid is a health benefits program created by the federal government but administered differently in each state. In South Carolina the Medicaid program is called Healthy Connections. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) administers Healthy Connections. If you are on a low income, elderly or disabled then you can apply for Healthy Connections.
In order to apply for South Carolina Medicaid assistance through Healthy Connections you must fill out Form 4400. The Healthy Connections application form will request your personal information and income information. You may also be required to fill out the Additional Information for Select Medicaid Programs Form (Form 4000-A) or other related forms based on your age and current physical status.
Medicare and Healthy Connections Prime in South Carolina
Another form of South Carolina medical assistance is Medicare. Medicare and Medicaid are two separate programs, although you may qualify for both. In order to meet Medicare requirements you must be a Social Security Disability (SSDI) recipient for a minimum of two years or be at least 65 years of age. If you have dual qualification for both Medicaid and Medicare then you must sign up for Health Connections Prime, which is a program specifically for joint Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries.
The SC Healthy Connections Prime Program combines the resources and benefits for both Medicaid and Medicare and presents those resources in a more accessible way. As a Healthy Connections Prime member you will be given one health card instead of two. Additionally, the plan will allow you to receive free or discounted prescription medication. You must apply for HC through the SCDHHS.
South Carolina Partners for Healthy Children
If you are seeking South Carolina medical assistance for your child, one program that may provide such assistance is the SC Partners for Healthy Children Program. The program covers dental and vision care for your child, along with medical care. Emergency room visits are also included in the coverage, as are approved surgical procedures.
SC Partners for Healthy Children may provide free medical care for your child if your family income is 200 percent of the established Federal Poverty Level or less. In order to qualify for SC medical assistance through SC Partners for Healthy Children your child must also be 19 years of age or younger. You may also qualify for SC Partners for Healthy Children if you have no children but are currently pregnant. An application for the program can be obtained from the SCDHHS, or the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
The Children's Health Insurance Program in South Carolina
Another form of South Carolina medical assistance for which your child may qualify if your family income is low is the SC Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Both dental and medical benefits are available through CHIP, which is part of the Medicaid Program. SC medical assistance through CHIP will give your child access to free dental cleanings, annual check-ups and immunizations, along with other procedures necessary to keep him or her healthy. You must apply to the SCDHHS on your child's behalf in order for him to receive CHIP benefits. After your child is enrolled, you may select from a list of doctors and dentists in South Carolina accepting CHIP patients.
Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) in South Carolina
You and your child may also be eligible for SC medical assistance through the Women, Infants and Children Program. WIC is a program which provides both educational information about nutrition and financial assistance for mothers and children. The purpose of WIC is to provide you with benefits you can use to purchase healthy foods if you are pregnant or already have at least one child and you are on a low income. Though the primary focus is nutrition, some medical assistance is also offered as part of the program. You can also use the WIC program to learn about the nutritional needs of your child. A WIC application can be filed at any SC DHEC office.
The Working Disabled Program in South Carolina
If you are disabled, you may qualify for the Working Disabled Program. In order to become a WDP beneficiary through the SCDHHS, you must be permanently disabled but still have earned income from working in some capacity. You must also prove to the DHHCS that your household has a total income which does not exceed 250 percent of the established Federal Poverty Level. If you qualify for WDP assistance, then you will be able to access all Medicaid-covered services in the state of South Carolina. WDP benefit receipt may also qualify you for waiver services program eligibility depending on program vacancy availability.