Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Comparing Therapy Service Providers - Part 3 or Let's Talk Money

This is the last in a series of posts comparing the public and private therapy providers we've used since Goldie turned 3. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.  This is only the experience of one family living in a fairly rural county in Pennsylvania.

One thing I didn't mention in the previous posts was how these services were paid for. I believe the Early Intervention program receives county, state and federal funds. I'm not completely sure, but there is no cost to use their services. The private speech and OT are billed to our private health insurance through my husband's employer. (We exhausted that coverage a couple months ago.) Then, whatever isn't covered is paid by Medicaid. Goldie qualifies for this because she has a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Another program we utilize is HIPP, Health Insurance Premium Payment. HIPP pays the insurance premium for the employee and the child with the disability if it is more cost effective than adding the child onto one of the state's insurance plans. I've learned this program can work a couple different ways.
1. My husband's current employer deducts the employee portion of a family policy directly from his paycheck. Then, they asked that HIPP send the reimbursement directly to us.
2. His previous employer (where he worked when Goldie was born) continued deducting the employee portion of the health insurance premium, had the reimbursement from HIPP sent directly to themselves, and kept it all.

When I talked to the very nice HR lady  about these two scenarios her reply was that "We will pay the same for your family's insurance that we would pay for any of our employees. You are the one's raising Goldie, that money should go to you." You could have knocked me over with a feather. My husband drive too far to work hours that are too long, so it warmed my heart to know that he works for a company that is honest and caring.

Back to my comparison, I've thought about what we would do if Goldie's private therapy wasn't covered. I know that in some states these services wouldn't be covered. Would we give it up? No way! We would find a way to pay for it because it is making a difference in our lives. Even if it meant organizing fundraisers and picking up a part time job.

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