Assistive technology provides users the opportunity to reach to their independence goals. However, one of the major obstacles to receiving assistive technology in your home is its cost.
Fortunately, there are many organizations, healthcare providers, and government programs available to assist with its cost. This is only a brief summary of the options available, we hope that it can help you start your search.
RESNA - Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America
National Service organizations and their local chapters may offer assistance funding assistive technology.
Local chapters may offer assistance for those in their community.
Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance, disability insurance, or worker’s compensation may pay for assistive technology.
Often, a prescription or letter of necessity from a doctor or medical professional is required.
Medicare - national insurance program managed by the United States government.
For those 65 and over and younger people with disabilities. Medicare can cover assistive technology, it is often limited.
Medicaid - state and federally managed program for those with low incomes and resources.
Description of State Medicaid Programs - each state’s program has different levels of assistance and coverage.
Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) - child focused section of Medicaid. EPSDT assists low-income children by financing pediatric services.
Medicaid Waivers - Waivers allow Medicaid to be used for services or specialized medical equipment. Each state’s Waiver program varies.
Understanding the Medicaid Waiver - an overview of the Medicaid Waiver program.
Private Insurance - private providers often cover assistive technology although their coverage and terms are on a case by case basis and will vary.
Each state has its own workers' compensation law (find yours here), which provides for the rules and benefits in its state, while the federal government administers workers' compensation programs for federal employees and certain other federal programs.
Under workers' compensation, employees give up their right to sue their employers for negligence, and are exempt from the requirement to prove the employer was negligent, in exchange for receiving medical care and other benefits to compensate for injuries and illnesses sustained in the normal course of employment and to restore their level of functioning to their preinjury status.
While the benefits vary by state, several states cover the cost of AT and the services of professionals, clinicians, and teams that can evaluate the need for appropriate assistive devices and train individuals in their use to restore their function.
For those under the age of 21, the public school’s special education program may be a funding resource for assistive technology.
The terms and regulations governing the special education program can vary from state to state. But, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures that eligible children receive a free public education, which includes special education.
VR agencies can offer assistance with a wide range of goods and services, this can include “rehabilitation technology”, when it is connected with one’s occupational goals.
Th VA’s integrated health care system includes 1,255 health care facilities. This includes 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites for care.
The VA serves over 9 million veterans each year. Many locations offer Assistive Technology programs and specialized departments.