Some children are quickly diagnosed after birth with a special need, whether that be a cleft palate or a more severe genetic condition.  Other children grow up seemingly typical, but then are diagnosed at a later date with a special need.  For instance, my brother had cerebral palsy, but he wasn’t diagnosed until after a year old.  Much of his development until that point had been normal.  Some children are diagnosed with issues even later.  A family friend’s son was not diagnosed with high functioning autism until he was 12 years old.

When you find out your child has a disability, you may deal with a variety of feelings, including feeling angry, overwhelmed, and frustrated.  This frustration increases when you realize your insurance, in some cases, may not cover many of the therapies that you need.

If you find yourself facing a special needs diagnosis, there are several steps you can take to make sure your child gets the help he needs without breaking the bank.

Contact Insurance

The first thing you need to do is contact the insurance to see what they will and will not cover.  This varies widely depending on the diagnosis and insurance company.  If your child has a relatively common condition such as autism, the insurance company may have a separate department specifically to address and handle your child’s care and condition.

You may also ask if they have any specialists who can work with you to help you find the right therapist that is covered by insurance.

Ask About The Codes Insurance Covers

Insurance can be notoriously picky for what they cover and don’t cover.  Often, it’s simply a matter of using the right billing code.  If you have a therapist who is experienced with your insurance company, she may already know what code to use for coverage.  However, you may need to also talk to the insurance company.  For autism, autism itself may not be covered, but a condition related to autism such as speech and communication issues may be covered.

Ask For a Discount From the Care Provider

If your insurance won’t cover the therapy you need, see if the therapist you want to work with will offer you a discount.  Often therapists have a certain rate for insurance; the insurance then gets a discount, so the rate the insurance pays the therapist is much lower.  See if you can get a discount for paying cash.  Your therapist won’t have to fill out the insurance paperwork, so you’re saving the therapist time behind the scenes outside of therapy.

Connect with Others

If your insurance won’t pay for the condition and you don’t have the money to pay out of pocket, try to connect with others whose children have the same condition yours does.  They may know tips to help you.  For instance, many states have a separate department that handles autism.  If your child is diagnosed as autistic, you can apply to the state to cover therapy.  The state will also examine your child and decide if the child’s autism is severe enough to cover; if so, they will pay for the required therapies.

Seek Help with the Schools

Another great place to look is to the public schools.  Two of my children had speech issues.  Even though we homeschool, they received speech therapy for free from the schools.  If your child is enrolled in school, you may find even more services are available to him.

If your child gets a special needs diagnosis, you will be facing a steep learning curve.  However, with guidance and perseverance, you can get your child the therapy he needs.

Does your child have a special need?  If so, what other suggestions would you add to this list?


8 Ways to Save for College on a Tight Budget

The following post is from Melissa Batai Our oldest is nearly 13, and we have very little saved for his college education.  That’s a scary thought since college costs are so expensive.  In 2016-2017, the College Board stated that in-state tuition, fees, and room and board average $20,090 per year. However, our budget is so […]

Read the full article →

You’re Never Too Young to Put Your Financial Affairs in Order

The following post is from Melissa Batai In the 16 years that my husband and I have been married, I am the one who has done all of the budgeting and bill paying.  I apprise my husband of what’s going on financially, and he does sometimes sit down and listen to me, but managing the […]

Read the full article →

Financial Strain: How to Keep Money From Messing with Your Marriage

What’s the number one thing that married couples bicker about? If you answered “money,” you’re correct. Financial matters can take their toll on any relationship. Between marital partners, even more so. If money is messing with your marriage, you’ll be glad we told you the following money info that may help to keep financial harmony […]

Read the full article →

Money In, Money Out: How to Budget and Save for Your Life Dreams and Aspirations

Many of us have dreams and goals that we would like to fulfill at some point in our lives, but it can sometimes feel like they are aspirations that are not going to be fulfilled when you take a look at your monthly budget. Paying your bills and putting money away is a balancing act […]

Read the full article →

How to Handle Finances When A Spouse Is Unemployed

These days, it is hard to survive on a single household income. Therefore, you may need to get creative when a spouse is unemployed. In addition to considering how to make up for a lost paycheck, it may also be necessary to make arrangements to find health care until he or she is able to […]

Read the full article →

5 Ways to Save on Kids’ Clothes

The following post is from Melissa Batai A kid’s job, it seems, is to grow as fast as possible.  Any parent of an infant can attest to that when the sweet baby fits in size 0 to 3 months for four weeks before zooming on to the next size.  Luckily, if you want to save […]

Read the full article →

Have an Exit Strategy for Adult Children to Fly the Nest

The following post is from Melissa Batai Grace was enjoying retirement and living alone when her adult child, Kathy, and her husband and two children found out they would have to leave the rented house they had lived in for years because the owner was selling and moving out of state.  Kathy and her family […]

Read the full article →

A Five Step Holiday Overspending Recovery Plan

The following post is from Melissa Batai Holiday overspending happens to the best of us.  Maybe we’re swayed by great sale prices, so we buy more than we need.  Maybe someone else lavishes us with gifts, so we feel the need to reciprocate.  Maybe we feel pressure to give gifts to all the service people […]

Read the full article →

How to Benefit from Credit Cards While Controlling Your Spending

The following post is from Melissa Batai There seem to be two camps when it comes to credit card use and budgeting.  One group says the best way to get your finances and budget under control is to simply quit using credit cards.  Cut them up, and go back to using all cash and the […]

Read the full article →