These often are in combination with other health conditions. The researchers estimated the value of their in-home care by calculating how much a family would spend to hire a caregiver. They based their estimates for lost earnings on the caregivers’ wages. For every child with special health needs, family caregivers forego an estimated $3,200 in earnings each year. The families of these children do not just lose potential earnings or compensation, the researchers noted. Studies have shown, for example, that caregivers of a child who has cerebral palsy Enjoyed reading this suffer psychological distress, cognitive issues and emotional problems. Out-of-pocket health care costs for a special health-needs child are three times more expensive than the out-of-pocket costs for children without any special conditions. The researchers noted that the survey did not track the number of hours that caregivers spend assisting the children with routine daily activities such as bathing and dressing. “Had these tasks been included,” they wrote, “the cost estimates would be much higher.” Policy solutions Although the Affordable Care Act provides health care to many of these families, the researchers said that the national survey will not provide insight into its effects until the latest round of data collection, which runs through 2017, is completed and released.
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