Special Needs

Massachusetts EI family fees to triple

I work in EI and we just found out that the department of public health has finalized the decision to raise family participation fees as of Sept. 1, so if your little one has an IFSP that is up soon, talk to your service coordinator about getting the eval done soon and writing a new IFSP before that date if you are in an income bracket that has to pay.  The highest fee will be over $1500 for a 12 month plan, how sad :( ...    This has already been approved by the federal govt.
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Re: Massachusetts EI family fees to triple

  • I don't think that is a huge cost, considering the value of the services.  Only people who can afford it have to pay.  I honestly am opposed to completely free services.  I think they just don't work very well. 
  • Thanks for sharing the information. 

    As a point of comparison, I was at the highest income bracket for VA, and my OOP costs were $600 per month.  My gripe is with the fact that my insurance company deems speech therapy "educational" and therefore not covered, and only pays for short-term OT to recover skills lost from an injury or illness.  And my husband's insurance company deems ASDs non-treatable chronic conditions, and therapy is therefore not covered.  If insurance companies would pay for therapies, families wouldn't have to shell out so much for services.

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  • I need to move to MA.  Once I run through my insurance covered visits in about a month, I will be paying almost $1k per month for 12 hours worth services (they don't offer ABA or anything behavioral here).  I think that will put my total for the year around around $7k.  I pay 80% of all out of pocket costs and they only pay that 20% because I have 2 children with autism (and 2 sets of therapy bills).  There's no special needs preschool that's appropriate for my kids development level either.  I know property taxes are higher up there, but the good people of MA are still getting a pretty good deal. 

    ETA: Excellent point about the insurance companies.  I do have some coverage, but only get 60 visits a year for ST, OT, and PT combined.  Needless to say I'm obsessed with getting the proposed autism bill passed here. 

  • Wow, thanks for helping to put the increases into perspective.  Some families in that highest income bracket with children who only receive one type of therapy are likely to not enroll in EI and pay their copays for private services - I am thinking mostly of speech/language delayed kids.  The fee is the same whether you get speech once a week or OT, PT, Speech, developmental specialist, playgroup, and/or 20 hours of ABA weekly.  So for some the fee is more reasonable for others its not so... 


    and, we would love to have you in MA!!  The school districts in Agawam and West Springfield do an excellent job here, IMO!

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