One of the best ways to lead a happy and stress-free life is by speaking your mind out. Effective speaking not only helps to convince people but also boosts your self-confidence. However, some kids as well as adults develop speech & communication disorders and speech therapy may be the only way to eliminate them. Let’s know everything about speech therapy and whether health insurance covers it.
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Speech therapy refers to the process of assessing and treating communication and speech disorders. It is used to treat speech disorders in children that may have developed in childhood. Moreover, speech therapies are also used to treat adults with speech impairments resulting from an injury, illness or surgery, such as brain surgery or stroke.
Speech therapy is performed by speech-language pathologists, who are also known as speech therapists. They may use speech therapy techniques, such as language intervention activities, articulation therapy, etc. depending on the type of speech and communication disorder.
Speech therapy may be required to treat the following speech and communication disorders:
Speech therapies are a highly expensive procedure. A single consultation with a speech therapist may cost approximately Rs 3000. However, speech therapy is a long-term therapy that goes on for months and sometimes, for years. For instance, a three-month speech therapy course may cost approximately Rs 80,000.
Although, the cost of speech therapy may vary as per the type of disorder and the city. Nonetheless, it would create a major financial burden. Moreover, if the speech therapy is a result of an injury or critical illness, the overall medical expenses may be difficult to afford.
This brings us to the question of whether speech therapy is covered by health insurance plans in India. Let’s find out.
Yes. Health Insurance plans in India provide coverage for speech therapy. They cover the charges incurred on taking consultation with a speech therapist. While a few insurance companies offer health plans that cover speech therapy only in children, other plans offer coverage for adults as well. Moreover, if a communication & speech disorder resulted from a critical illness, the therapy cost will be covered under the critical illness insurance policy.
Speech therapy is usually covered under OPD cover or post-hospitalization expenses. In the case of children health insurance plans covering speech therapy, coverage is available for those between the age of 3 years to 25 years. However, some plans may come with a co-payment of 20% on every claim. Therefore, it is advisable to go through the terms and conditions of the policy carefully before buying.
Although speech therapy is covered by health insurance plans in India, the coverage is not available as soon as the policy commences. This is because all health insurance plans come with a waiting period and the coverage is available only after this waiting period is over. When it comes to health insurance plans for speech therapy, an initial waiting period of 30 days is applicable. In the case of critical illness insurance plans, the coverage will be available after an initial waiting period of 90 days.
However, if you have been diagnosed with a communication and speech disorder before the purchase of the health insurance policy, insurance companies will consider it a pre-existing disease/ medical condition. This means the coverage for speech therapy will only be available after the pre-existing disease waiting period is over. In India, most health plans cover pre-existing diseases after a waiting period of 2 to 4 years. Hence, you must check your policy document to know the waiting period.
Take a look at a few speech therapy tips that you can use with your child at home:
Communication is an essential tool to express yourself. In children, proper communication skills are important for their all-round development and confidence building. In case you or your child is having trouble speaking or has developed a communication & speech disorder, the cost of speech therapy will be covered by your health insurance policy. However, make sure to follow the above-mentioned tips to develop your speaking and communication skills at home.
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