Benefit Programs to Keep You Healthy
August is National Immunization Awareness Month and would like to remind you to keep yourself and those that you care for up-to-date on vaccinations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccine-preventable diseases are at a near-record low. However, the American public is strongly cautioned against being lured into a false sense of security, and growing careless in vaccinating their children. The results of just such carelessness led to an epidemic of measles in the United States between 1989 and 1991, during which time more than 55,000 children contracted the disease and 136 died from it. Immunizations are the best protection you can receive to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases, and have resulted in a 97 percent reduction in the incidence of these diseases from peak levels before vaccines were available. If you are in need of assistance in obtaining vaccinations, or healthcare in general, has a number of benefit programs available on the site that may help you. The following programs represent a small number of those available. Be sure to search for programs specific to the state that you live in as well.

Immunization Grants
The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program purchases vaccines for children in certain eligibility groups (see below) who can't afford to buy vaccines. Doctors can get these vaccines for their patients who qualify by joining the VFC program in their state. The Section 317 Immunization program assists state and local health departments in purchasing vaccines. This program serves children and adults who primarily go to health departments for immunization services but are not eligible for the VFC program. For more information, visit the Immunization Grants Program.

State Children's Health Insurance Program
The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a partnership between the Federal and State Governments that provides health coverage to uninsured children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage. All states provide immunizations and well baby/well child care at no cost and may cover much more. For more information, visit the State Children's Health Insurance Program.