Back to School: Understanding Funding Options for SLP Services
At Children’s Communication Center, our Director & Founder, Lori Savage Grayson, prides herself on understanding that Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) services are important to each child and family. Therefore, she works diligently to assist families in learning about the availability of SLP services with consideration for potential funding options on an individual basis.
Ms. Grayson treats each new phone call the same and believes that it is her professional responsibility to share educational information with each family who contacts this Center.
That is why she provides pertinent literature from The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and other reliable professional sources to increase the understanding of SLP development, disorders, and services while personalizing each “packet” toward the family’s SLP concerns.
Children’s Communication Center was founded by Ms. Grayson in 1993 to offer Tallahassee and neighboring counties high quality, well-managed, and professional SLP services with a focus on young children and their families.
Now, 24 years later, her efforts continue to be successful and the local communities benefit from her experience and positive working relationship with other professionals.
Ms. Grayson further acknowledges that while all children may not be able to be seen for SLP services at this Center, all children can be seen within the community and she leaves “no stone unturned” to assist families.
Parents comment that “these are the special gifts that Ms. Grayson offers to all families who contact her Center.”
There are many factors which play an important role while seeking SLP services for a child. It is not only a family’s insurance but also the child’s age, and communicative needs, as well as, scheduling, transportation, and all that life brings to each family.
Remember, always seek an ASHA certified and experienced Speech-Language Pathologist. Ask questions, visit the facility, speak to alum families, review their social media/webpage, and above all be informed.
We are proud to share that this Center offers a Meet & Greet to new families to speak with Ms. Grayson in person. This can be arranged with or without your child.
Ms. Grayson encourages parents to speak with her even if their insurance options do not include this Center as other choices are often available.
TRUISIMS that serve as FACTS most of the time…
- FACT #1: Not all insurance policies cover Speech-Language Pathology services.
- FACT #2: Not all insurance policies cover pediatric Speech-Language Pathology services. They may only cover the evaluation and not intervention.
- FACT #3: Not all insurance policies cover all pediatric Speech-Language Pathology diagnoses.
- FACT #4: Most insurance policies include exclusions, limitations, and restrictions.
- FACT #5: Insurance coverage varies from policy to policy. That means, not all XYZ policies are the same.
- FACT #6: Not all children evidence “medical necessity” as often required by insurance companies. But if s/he does your child’s primary care physician may need to provide a written script for the evaluation and sign the Speech-Language Pathology Plan of Care indicating “medical necessity”.
- FACT #7: Not all children meet the guidelines/qualify for early intervention services.
- FACT #8: Not all children meet the guidelines/qualify for Pre-K ESE services.
- FACT #9: Not all children are eligible for McKay or Gardiner Scholarships.
- FACT #10: It is important for parents to become informed, ask questions and understand their insurance policy, their community resources, and funding options.
- FACT #11: We will work with you to find the best SLP options for your child/family.
Community Resources: Parents should also be knowledgeable and familiar with our community/public no fee based programs which might benefit their young child/family. Local (Tallahassee, Florida area) Programs include, but are not limited to: the Children’s Home Society’s early identification/intervention program, Early Steps, providing screening, testing and intervention to eligible children up to three years; The First Word Project (research based screening services for children up to age two, no intervention services); the Leon County Pre-K ESE program for 3 and 4 year old children; and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at Florida State University offering “free consultation, resources, and educational support”.
Insurance Coverage: While, this Center does not currently bill insurance directly, families are able to access their insurance and present this Center’s Statement of Services indicating payments made and file for reimbursement.
Of major importance is understanding that an insurance company may indicate a family has coverage for Speech-Language Pathology Services only to learn later that they are responsible for payment as their claim was denied.
How can this happen?
Simply, the question is not whether your insurance policy covers SLP services, it is whether your insurance policy covers SLP services for your child’s communicative needs. Two extremely different questions.
This is the difference between an expected copay and being handed a bill for services rendered by an SLP provider who now explains that the claim was denied. Sadly, Ms. Grayson hears stories of parents being handed bills for many months of services which are now their financial responsibility.
As the parent, you want to know if your policy covers Speech-Language Pathology services for your child’s communicative needs. It is essential to learn about your policy’s exclusions, limitations, # of sessions/year, calendar restrictions, and other procedural requirements. Remember, each policy is different as they are written for the individual or the company.
Additional information for your specific situation is available upon speaking to Ms. Grayson. At that time, she will also provide you with this Center’s questionnaire to assist you with speaking to your insurance rep. She will also discuss options for transitioning to this Center once your insurance coverage is complete.
This Center is able to assist families in learning what SLP coverage may/may not be available based on their insurance policy. Remember, this Center’s invoices/receipts are formatted to be accepted by third-party payers allowing a family to file for eligible reimbursements.
Florida DOE Scholarships*
The Gardiner (PLSA) Scholarships Program: Ms. Grayson is an approved provider for both of the Scholarship Funding Organizations that are approved to managed the Gardiner Scholarship Program: Step Up for Students (SUFS) and AAA Scholarship Foundation (AAA). Who is eligible for Gardiner Scholarships? Read here.
*This Center will determine eligibility for SLP services at this Center for any/all Scholarships as appropriate.
Your Employer May Offer These Programs during Open Enrollment**
**Speak with your Human Resource rep at your place of employment to learn if these are available to your family. Also, check with your financial advisor(s) to learn if they are appropriate for your family.
**Speech-Language Pathology Services typically qualify for both of these programs; however, this Center recommends that you verify your eligibility and any exclusion or exceptions with your HR rep. Ask about age restrictions (child’s age) and maximum fund limit. ALSO, ask about educational flexible spending accounts.
Children’s Communication Center’s “Specials”***
In an effort to assist our families, Children’s Communication Center has established several bundled and short-term “specials” for up to 25% off specified and eligible services. These “specials” are rotated allowing more families to receive SLP services with this Center and is Ms. Grayson’s way of “paying it forward”. Children of all ages may be eligible!
Semester Specials: Available during the Summer, Fall and Spring “Semesters” as there are always birthdays, holidays, camps, and more that need a family’s attention.
Grandparent Special: Available as our way to “thank” the many Grands who are sharing in the expense of SLP Services.
Multiple Child/Family Special: Available to families who have more than one family member receiving SLP services during the same calendar month.
***Include individualized, short-term SLP programs “bundled” for your concern(s) and developed to help your child, toddlers through young adults, become more successful in their learning, social, and employment environments.
***This Center will determine eligibility for SLP services at this Center for any/all available “Specials” as appropriate.
This Center is currently accepting new families for the new school year and each of the DOE Scholarships have application deadlines, so don’t delay.
SLP services are provided at this Center, at many private schools, at a family’s home, and throughout the community. Venue determination is based on the most appropriate setting for each child/family and this Center’s availability.