Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that affects some children as they grow. Symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but parents should look for uneven shoulders, shoulder blades, hips, or the appearance of a child’s ribs showing more prominently on one side of the body. If you are concerned that your child may have scoliosis, talk to your child’s doctor and schedule an appointment.

The visit to the doctor may include a review of your family history, neurological tests, and X-rays. Your child’s physician will consider underlying medical conditions that could be causing the scoliosis, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or a tumor. Most cases of scoliosis are mild and the cause is unknown. While lifestyle and alternative remedies may improve a patient’s overall health, moderate to severe scoliosis may require a brace or surgery. A back brace can prevent any further progression of the curvature while the child continues to grow. If the doctor determines that your child has a severe case of scoliosis, surgery may be suggested. A spinal fusion is only considered if all other treatments have been ineffective.

Does Your Child Qualify for Medicare?

Medicare is individual healthcare coverage, so even if a parent or guardian of a child is enrolled in Medicare, the child only qualifies if he/she meets the specific criteria. Most Medicare recipients qualify for benefits when they turn 65 years of age, but individuals under the age of 65 may be eligible for Medicare if they have certain disabilities, such as end-stage renal disease. If your child qualifies and is enrolled in Part B (Medical Insurance), Medicare can help cover the costs of doctor visits to diagnose the scoliosis, including X-rays, and a back brace if medically necessary.

If your child does not qualify for Medicare, there may be other options available. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage for children who are eligible through Medicaid and CHIP programs. If a child does not qualify for Medicaid based on the household’s income, they may be served by CHIP until they are 19 years old if they are eligible. Income eligibility standards vary by state.

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