Does Health Insurance Cover Speech Therapy

Speech therapy costs a lot. Insurance can help if your child needs it medically.

Let’s see when it’s necessary, how to get free services, and when’s the best age to start.

Is Speech Therapy Medically Necessary?

Speech therapy is essential for swallowing and communication issues.

It’s medically necessary when certain criteria are met:

  1. Improvement is likely within a reasonable time.
  2. Done by licensed providers.
  3. Services align with the care plan.
  4. For children over 18 months with speech delays.
  5. For homebound members transitioning from hospital to home care.

Does insurance cover speech therapy?

Speech therapy insurance coverage
Speech therapy insurance coverage: Photo source (Healthline)

Yes, when you meet the requirements, you can use speech therapy insurance to offset payments directly from your pocket.

When Is Speech Therapy NOT Medically Necessary?

Insurance might not cover speech therapy in these situations:

If another service, like occupational therapy, already covers the patient’s needed treatment.

When administering multiple treatments, each treatment requires a separate plan demonstrating significant differences.

Most contracts don’t cover exercises that maintain cognitive function.

These maintenance programs start after therapeutic goals are met.

Not covered for:

  1. Treating chronic cough.
  2. When a licensed speech pathologist’s skills aren’t necessary.
  3. Tasks for maintaining function, usually done by caregivers.

Insurance likely won’t cover speech therapy here. Look into alternate payment options when not medically needed.

Speech Therapy for Uninsured Kids

We now know that it isn’t always the case.

Hence, you will have to find other methods to offset out-of-pocket therapy payments if your situation falls under the following:

  • Speech therapy needed to treat self-correcting dysfunctions, natural disfluency in youngsters, and self-correcting problems in articulation resulting from natural development
  • Educational training services for loved ones

What Is the Best Age to Start Therapy?

Early speech delays can emerge at three months, but the child could still achieve normal milestones.

Talking to a therapist is good, but treatment might not be immediate.

Early intervention and monitoring at home are recommended.

Actual treatment waits if issues continue past the child’s first year.

At 12 months, lack of response or gestures could signal a specialist visit.

By one year, gestures show basic communication skills.


For medically necessary cases, yes, but coverage varies by state.

Usually, not a concern for developmental delay or 13 legal disability categories.

In such cases, free therapy in your state is available.


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