We all want the best for our children. That’s why we always go out of our way to provide for them and make their lives much easier. But what happens when you’re unable to afford to your child’s treatment?
Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy is considered one of the best treatments for autistic children. However if your insurance is not going to cover the treatments it can get pretty expensive.
Therefore, we have put together this guide so you will understand all the payment options that are available to you.
But before we get into the payment options for ABA therapy in Atlanta, let’s take a quick look at the therapy itself.
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What is ABA Therapy?
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a science that focuses on improving behaviors such as communication, social skills, academics, and reading. It’s also aimed at improving adaptive learning skills, including hygiene, fine motor dexterity, and domestic capabilities.
The therapy also aims to improve patients’ skills in grooming, punctuality, and job competence. All this is achieved through operant conditioning and positive reinforcement.
On Average, How Much Does ABA Therapy Cost?
Typically, a board-certified ABA therapist will charge you about $120 an hour. This adds up to $4800 a week for a child receiving 40 hours of therapy. If you don’t have insurance, you could end up spending up to $125,000 a year on ABA therapy.
For most parents, coming up with these figures is very challenging. Some may not even afford to get their children enough hours of therapy each week. Without sufficient time with patients, an ABA therapist can’t fully analyze behavioral changes or build rapport with them.
That being said, several factors come into play when determining the overall expenses for ABA therapy. They include:
- The severity of the autism experienced by the child
- Where the therapy will take place
- Length of time spent with the ABA specialist
- The individual ABA therapist’s desired rates and experience level
Does Medicaid Cover ABA Therapy in Atlanta?
Since January 1st, 2018, Medicaid has been providing coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) patients under the age of 21. The coverage is provided according to the severity and medical necessity.
How to Get Medicaid Coverage for ABA Therapy
If you want to get Medicaid to cover ABA therapy in Atlanta, there is some paperwork you need to get in order. You must have a document indicating your child’s DSM-V diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. The diagnosis must also be from a licensed medical professional, such as a physician or psychologist.
A licensed physician or healing arts practitioner must also recommend ABA therapy for your child. The services must also be recommended to prevent autism spectrum disorder from progressing and improve the patient’s physical and mental health.
What Insurances Does Hidden Talent Accept?
Hidden Talent believes that children with autism can lead happy and productive lives. It focuses on helping children grow and thrive by improving social, communication, and adaptive skills.
It also understands the financial burden that ASD therapy can put on you as a parent. As such, it has partnered with various insurance companies to enable you to get the funding you need to cater to your child’s needs.
Hidden Talent accepts the following insurance companies:
- Amerigroup Community Care
- United Commercial
- United Healthcare
- Wellcare of Georgia
If you have any of the above as your insurance provider, contact them to get a full list of your benefits.
Does Georgia Have Caps of ABA Therapy Coverage?
According to Georgia laws, individuals with autism are entitled to meaningful coverage in state-regulated plans. Ava’s law, which was originally passed in 2015, has been amended to increase the limits on the coverage of ABA therapy to individuals between 0 and 21 years.
Also, each individual’s coverage is limited to a maximum annual benefit of $35,000 per year.
By law, the following services must be covered for those with autism:
- Diagnosis and treatment of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
- Rehabilitative services, including applied behavior analysis (ABA)
- Counseling services provided by a licensed psychologist, licensed psychiatrist, clinical social worker, or professional counselor
Other Resources That Can Help Pay for ABA in Atlanta
Steve and Debbie Harbin founded the Anchor of Hope Foundation in 2007. They were inspired by their son Jacob, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.
The couple spent years working with doctors and therapists, so they know the difficulties, disappointments, and discouragement that come with raising a special needs child. Despite this fact, they value the unique joy and blessings their son, Jacob, brings to their family. They also desire to help other families facing the same ordeal through the journey.
The foundation offers scholarship grants of up to $250 towards equipment, therapy, and other needs that are not covered by insurance. They hold offer tons of family events where both parents and autistic children can connect and share their experiences.
Founded in 1999 by the Georgia State Legislature, Avita Community Partners serves individuals experiencing the disabling effects of developmental disabilities, mental illness, and addictive diseases.
They seek to promote stable, safe, and meaningful lives for citizens within a 13-county area in northeast Georgia.
The United Healthcare Children’s Fund Foundation offers timely financial support to families with autistic children. They help with the medical expenses that are not covered or fully covered by the families’ health insurance provider.
The Bottom Line
Caring for an autistic child can be challenging, especially when they don’t have access to the treatments they need to live happy and fulfilling lives. ABA therapy is scientifically proven to help autistic children live normal lives.
And although ABA therapy is expensive, there are tons of payment options out there that can help you finance your child’s treatment.