Speech Therapy : $920 Per Week

I had a long, long post regarding medical and insurance drama I’ve been dealing with for the past month and a half, but I just cannot get myself to click ‘publish’.  For now, here’s an example of what we’re dealing with.

DS2 was sent for a speech evaluation.  He’s only 2, but the concern was regression.  At 9 months he was speaking in sentences, at 17 months he completely stopped, and seemed to develop his own language. Now just after 2 he’s starting with words again.

I didn’t care for the therapist, or the way she conducted the evaluation, and found her to be very condescending towards me, especially when she realized my son is very good at ASL, as am I.  She questioned how I could possibly know American Sign Language.  My best friend is deaf.  🙂

Anyway, she insisted he needed therapy, twice a week, for three months.  Told me to schedule it with the front desk as we left.  Here’s where it gets fun!

My co-pay for speech therapy is $90.  That’s expensive enough for us!  The visit fee is $370.  That’s $370+$90=$460*2=$920 PER WEEK – wtf!!!! We don’t even make that much per week! I could feel my heart begin to race, the anger growing, my eyes swelling with tears out of frustration.  What the hell is the point of health insurance?  Please, someone, help me understand!!

The front desk lady certainly didn’t help with the following exchange:

Her:  It’s too bad you have private insurance.
Me:  Why is that?
Her:  Our self-pay fee is only $60.
Me:  Wait, what?  $60 co-pay?  What does a session cost?
Her:  No, just $60, it’s a flat rate per visit.
Me:  Well then I don’t have insurance!
Her: Sorry he’s already in the system since it was a referral, we’re unable to change it to self-pay.

I received a bill in the mail for the speech evaluation. $765. For 30 minutes. I called their office and they stated insurance didn’t cover it. I called insurance, they said it was not covered, because it was not treatment for a diagnosis. I tried to explain that the point of the evaluation was to determine a problem, aka diagnosis, and get help. Nope. No diagnosis, no evaluation, but no diagnosis without an evaluation. Isn’t that interesting.

Makes you feel really good paying hundreds to thousands per month in health insurance premiums, only to get have high deductibles, and low coverage. Meanwhile those without can get a cheap flat rate.

I am battling this same issue over, and over again. Every day I make 3-5 phone calls to specialists, insurance, doctors, etc. It’s a nightmare. I canceled speech. It didn’t feel right to begin with, then the cost just sealed it for me.

Physical Therapy is a must, and unfortunately we’re having the same cost issues. Also insurance limits the number of visits per calendar year to 20. Which is absolutely ridiculous for a child born with a birth defect that affects his feet, legs, and ability to walk.

$920 per week! I mean REALLY!!!!!!!! Are they nuts?!

 

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12 Responses to Speech Therapy : $920 Per Week

  1. OneFamily says:

    That is just messed up! Maybe you can find another speech therapist to see how much they charge. Seems kind of like a company charging the gov’t $1000 for hammer that everyone else pays $10 for. I remember my SIL concerned over my nephews lack of speech at age 2 (though had hadn’t spoken like you son did early on) but the dr. told her to just at least wait it out until he was 3 or so and he’d probably catch up and he did (and then never shut up LOL)

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    • Haha, my oldest is that way, never shuts up! Honestly speech is the least of our concerns, so I don’t think I’ll regret cancelling the appointments. If it is an issue when he’s older, starting at age 4, the schools have in-house ST that he would qualify for, for free. But since he’s younger, it’s all private.

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  2. Meg B. says:

    Check out the school district. In our state, if a licensed practitioners determines your preschool age child qualities for speech therapy, the school district s are legally required to provide it. Additionally, as speech therapy qualifies as an iep, they also offer pre school, complete with door to door transportation.
    Your district may be legally required to provide services like speech and occupational therapy to your pre schooler if he needs them. In our state, you could homeschool, and still receive these services.
    Seriously, before you go any further trying to get the necessary services for your son, contact your school district. It may take a few calls to get the right person, hut it’s my experience that once you do, they can’t do enough.

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    • When he’s older he will qualify for the school speech therapy and other services, but he has to be 4+. He just turned 2. They won’t do IEP’s for children under 4. Only two years to go lol. 😦

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  3. Angie Pisciotta says:

    I agree with Meg B. Please check out your school district. If you request your child to be tested, they must and free of charge. This is what your tax dollars pay for!

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  4. TN says:

    Ask the school district who services children under their minimum age limit. We lived in another state when one of mine needed speech and was too young for the school program, but they were able to put me in touch with another agency. They came out and did the evaluation and they only came out once a week but they gave me things to work on at home in between their visits. Maybe you can find something similar there. Try calling the county health services for your area, I bet they’d know. Good luck!

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    • Thank you TN! I will ask the school for any suggestions. Seems at this age your only option is a private agency which costs a fortune! In the meantime, I’m actively working with him myself, and we’ve seen plenty of improvement recently. Our main concern will be PT.

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  5. I don’t know the leg problems, but if he has a diagnosis of something else like cerebral palsy, he will receive any service he needs through an organization that services his other disability. I know this from working for a cp agency. What is the diagnosis for his legs, etc?

    My daughter spoke clearly. Then, she said jeth instead of jeff. I showed him how to show her to form words by showing her where to put tongue on teeth or teeth on lip. I am not a speech therapist. You can do things with him that are play so he can advance once more. Actually, his speech at nine months was more unusual than his not so perfect speech at two!

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    • Yes, his early speech was very unusual! He began babbling around 2.5 weeks old. He was born with bilateral clubfoot, which is not considered a disability on it’s own (varies per state), also hypotonia and hypermobility of the joints. However, he has other issues that point towards an underlying muscular disorder (possibly muscular dystrophy), but we’re unable to confirm without DNA/genetic testing, which is a year out we just discovered! 😦 I’m not too concerned about speech at this point, I bought some flashcards and will work with him. He’s definitely picking up more and more each day. It’s the PT that’s our primary concern right now.

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  6. vesta8 says:

    Is there a college near you that trains Speech therapist — what I cam getting at is that you can go to a dental college for more reasonable rates or a cosmetology school for haircuts – just thinking you could check out a local college for speech therapy assistance

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