I Want an SGD but How Do I Get It?: Funding an AAC Device

Funding devices can be the most intimidating piece of the AAC process. Well, maybe not for everyone, but for me it was a huge obstacle! I see posts on Facebook all the time asking how to get a device, where to get one, how to fund one… And the truth is, it is dependent on your insurance, your location, your available resources, and maybe even your school (if the individual needing AAC is currently attending school).

Here is what I have learned from funding devices this year:

  1. Devices are expensive. If you don’t know this already, the “dedicated” devices can be upward of 5k. Yes, $5,000. Some people can pay out of pocket for these. Some cannot. I don’t know many people that can say they have $5,000 lying around that they won’t miss. So, paying out of pocket for a device is usually out of the question.
  2. Medicaid can be a Godsend. Medicaid will fund SGDs with the proper paperwork in many cases. What medicaid decides to fund and decides to deny is sometimes a mystery, so do not expect that all claims will be approved. Medicaid will fully fund devices, in my experience.
  3. You can use a combination of insurances. Medicaid and private insurance can be used. Private insurance and private pay can be used. The good ole’ mix and match.
  4. Schools may or may not give you a school loaned device. See previous blog post regarding schools and AAC. But long story short, it depends on your student’s SLP recommendations and the school’s policy. The downside of using a school device is that it isn’t truly yours. If you change school districts, in many cases the device stays with the school you leave behind.
  5. Let’s say there is zero insurance. That is when you pay out of pocket OR use a grant to fund your device. I have applied to Orange Effect Foundation in the past. You can also use grants to cover the remaining costs if private insurance does not cover everything/anything, or if medicaid denies your claim.
  6. Go-Fund Me is also an option, as well as fundraisers, bake sales, etc. Get creative!

Hope these ideas help you figure out how to get an AAC device. 

With Gratitude,

Kacy

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