Patients often need medical equipment to treat a condition or help them live and move independently, especially as they age. However, not all insurance plans cover medical equipment. Some plans such as Medicare cover only certain types of medical equipment. In addition, emergency services and health clinics may also need specialized equipment in order to serve their patients. A number of public and private grants are available to help patients and health centers purchase necessary medical equipment.
Types of Grants
Broadly, two types of grants for medical equipment are available: public or government grants, and grants from private foundations, according to the Government Grant website. Both government offices and private foundations have their own rules for awarding grant money. For instance, foundations like the Addison H. Gibson Foundation will only pay health care providers, not the patients themselves. Other grants, such as a federal grant for veterans to pay for prosthetic limbs, can only be used for certain types of medical equipment, according to Federal Grants Wire.
Each grant source specifies how a patient or clinic should use the grant, usually in the application itself, according to the Michigan State University Libraries. Private foundations often have a mission statement, which explains the function of the foundation and how it expects its grants to be used. For instance, the National Emergency Medicine Association or NEMA states that its function is "the prevention of injury and illness by addressing health and social issues through education, applied research, technology, and equipment," and offers grants to meet these goals.
Grants for medical equipment generally allow people who need mobility aids, special equipment for treatment, and similar goods to either purchase these goods or receive them for free. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs—the VA—provides grant money to military veterans who need special prosthetic limbs made for them, according to Federal Grants Wire. Like most grants, the VA grants require patients to apply. A grant application usually features questions about how the money will be used and the patient's or clinic's current financial status.
Grants for medical equipment can help patients receive the treatment they need or continue to live and move around independently rather than relying on caregivers, according to Government Grants. Grants to help healthcare providers pay for medical equipment can improve the health of a community by making specialized tests or treatments available from local providers, according to NEMA.
Since many private foundations consider grant applications only a few times a year, it is best to apply for any grant as soon as possible after you realize you may need it. To save time and money, only apply for grants that are a good "fit" for your particular needs, and try to align your goals with those of the grant-giving organization, according to NEMA. For instance, if you are a veteran who needs a wheelchair rather than a prosthetic limb, applying for the VA's prosthetic limb grant may be a waste of your time, as the application is likely to be rejected.
A.L. Kennedy is a professional grant writer and nonprofit consultant. She has been writing and editing for various nonfiction publications since 2004. Her work includes various articles on nonprofit law, human resources, health and fitness for both print and online publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Alabama.