Understanding health insurance plans can be confusing to most consumers. Many don't know where to look or whom to contact for information on the coverage of speech-language pathology services, audiology services and hearing aids, let alone how to interpret the coverage guidelines. ASHA has developed this site to help you, as a consumer, understand your health plan as well as provide further contacts to assist you in understanding and obtaining the coverage you need to receive speech and hearing services.
In order to understand your health care coverage, you must first be able to identify what type of health plan you may have. There are 3 different health plans available to consumers:
Private Health Plans are the most common. These are health plans offered by employers to their employees. They can also be purchased by an individual.
Medicaid is government funded health care, typically provided for low-income individuals and families.
Medicare is government funded health care, typically provided for individuals ages 65 and over.
If you don't have coverage for speech and hearing services, there are other alternative sources for health care assistance:
Schools - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the landmark law that provides federal funding for all children with disabilities and will allow your child to receive these services through their public school.
Hearing - There are numerous organizations and programs available to assist with costs related to audiology services and hearing aids.
Speech/Language - There are numerous organizations and programs available to assist with costs related to speech-language pathology services and assistive technology.
Remember, consumers do have a say in their health insurance plans. To learn more about how to influence change in your plan check out the additional tools below:
Employer Insurance Packet - Talk to your employers about adequate private health insurance coverage
Adding Speech, Language, and Hearing Benefits to Your Policy - Tell your employers to check this page out to get the answers they need about adding valuable speech, language, and hearing benefits to your current insurance policy
Legislating Health Plan Coverage for: Hearing Aids for Children, Cognitive Rehabilitation, and Autism Related Services - Learn how to become an advocate for improved coverage at the state level.
ASHA's "Model Benefits" for Services - Learn about ideal health plan coverage for speech and hearing services