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Understanding Your Insurance Plan

Parents and physicians can also work together to understand what services insurance plans provide for children with developmental disorders. Parents are advised to:

  • Review insurance materials and contact the case manager
  • Enlist your physician's help for referrals, specialists, and other assistance
  • Check to see if supplementary health insurance is available for children with disabilities in your state

If a screening indicates that a child is at risk for a developmental delay or disorder, many parents find themselves on a steep learning curve: from understanding basic terminology to complex treatments and interventions. At the same time, parents should begin the process of understanding their insurance plans. What services are offered? What eligibility requirements exist? When might you need a referral? Working together, parents, physicians, and insurance plan staff can advocate for a full range of appropriate services for a child with disabilities.

  • Review your insurance materials and contact your case manager. Call your insurance company to request the most up-to-date plan materials. After reading the materials, call the insurance company to get the name of your case manager. The case manager can provide additional information and assistance, as he or she oversees your child’s case.
  • To best understand your insurance plan, enlist your physician’s help. After reading through your insurance plan, ask your physician what sort of referrals might be made. Are there local specialists who might be of assistance? Are there others within the practice who focus on child development?
  • Check to see if supplementary health insurance is available for children with disabilities in your state. All states offer coverage for people with disabilities through Medicaid; income eligibility varies. Some states offer special health plans for people with disabilities, often through the Division of Medical Assistance.

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Last update: 01/06/12
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