What is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is the process of assessing and treating communication or speech disorders. It helps you treat speech disorders among children that could be present since birth. Speech therapy is also used to treat speech impairments in adults caused by an injury, illness, or surgery. People who get strokes or brain surgery often experience speech disorders.
Speech therapy is performed by speech-language pathologists, also known as speech therapists. Depending on speech/communication disorder type and extent, they use techniques like language intervention activities, articulation therapy, etc.
Is Speech Therapy Covered Under Health Insurance in India?
Yes! Health insurance plans in India offer coverage for speech therapy. You are covered for charges incurred on consulting a speech therapist. Some insurance companies offer speech therapy coverage to children only, whereas others provide this coverage for adults as well. In fact, if the speech-related disorder results from some critical illness, the critical illness insurance plan covers the speech therapy cost. Speech therapy is generally covered under the post-hospitalisation expenses or OPD cover. Children between the age of 3 years and 25 years can avail the speech therapy coverage for kids.
Note: Some plans may ask for 20% co-payment on every claim. Hence, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.
Waiting Period to Cover Speech Therapy
All health insurance plans in India come with a waiting period. So, even though speech therapy is covered under health insurance, you cannot avail it right after the policy commences. The waiting period for speech therapy is 30 days. If you are an adult and require speech therapy due to a chronic disease, the waiting period under critical illness plans is 90 days. If the communication disorder is diagnosed before you buy health insurance, your insurer will consider it a pre-existing disease/condition. And you will have to wait for 2-4 years to avail the speech therapy coverage. Hence, do not forget to check the waiting period for health insurance policy.
Which Communication Disorders can be Treated With Speech Therapy?
Here's a list of speech and communication disorders that can be treated with the help of speech therapy:
How Much Does Speech Therapy Cost?
Speech therapies can be heavy on your pockets. A single consultation can cost up to ₹3,000. Moreover, speech therapy is generally a lengthy procedure. The minimum duration is one month, however, it can also take years for a few. So, a 3-month speech therapy course can cost ₹80,000 to ₹85,000. You must also note that the cost of speech therapy may vary depending on the type of disorder. Irrespective of the type, speech therapy can put a dent in your savings. Furthermore, managing the expenses could be difficult to endure if speech disorder is a consequence of an injury or critical illness. Before the speech therapy cost, you would have already incurred medical expenses to treat the injury/illness.
Now, wouldn't it be incredible if health insurance covered speech therapy? Let's find out!
Speech Therapy Tips to Try at Home
Here's a list of speech therapy tips that can help your child at home:
Before trying to speak a word, help your child practice sounds that he or she may have difficulty making.
Use a mirror to demonstrate how to say a word.
Use flashcards to enable your kid to practice sounds.
Let your child develop the mouth's muscular strength needed for clear speech. You can ask your child to blow air into straws. Drinking liquid through a straw can also help them build muscular strength.
Ask your kid to read books and explain the pictures in them. It will strengthen their speech and confidence.
Motivate your child to sing songs and jingles to improve their communication, memory, hearing skills, and vocabulary.
Let your child express himself/herself openly around others instead of you speaking for them.
Give your child complete attention when he/she is trying to speak.
Praise your bundle of joy for the things he/she can do instead of only focusing on the speech order.
To Wrap it Up!
Communication is a crucial skill. In fact, it is one of the top skills recruiters seek in their candidates. Proper communication is critical in childhood as it helps them ask questions and explore new concepts, build confidence, make friends, etc. If your child has a speech disorder, fret not! Health insurance policies in India cover the cost of speech therapy. Check out the range of health insurance covers at Bajaj MARKETS and get your hands on the best-suited plan for you.