New Jersey fund helps cover children’s health care

    More than three hundred families in New Jersey struggling to pay medical expenses for their sick children are getting help from the state.

    More than three hundred families in New Jersey struggling to pay medical expenses for their sick children are getting help from the state.

    The Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund Commission has awarded more than $7 million in grants this fiscal year to families whose insurance doesn’t cover their kids’ medical care.

    Maria Olariaga of Paramus says her son was born prematurely with respiratory problems. Her family received more than $74,000 from the fund to help with their medical bills.

    “We’re the type of people that always pay our bills,” says Olariaga. “We’ll do whatever we can to pay then. And then when this happens to you, you don’t know where to get anything until these beautiful people try to help you and now your problems are solved.”

    Money for the fund comes from a surcharge on employers. Officials anticipate they’ll be able to help hundreds of other families in the coming fiscal year.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.