By Forrest Lien, Executive Director
For decades, insurance companies have denied appropriate care for kids with reactive attachment disorder. Like most, they don’t understand reactive attachment disorder, what works, and what doesn’t. When children escalate at home and pose a threat to the family, parents typically take them to the hospital or traditional residential treatment centers. That’s because their insurance companies only consider such facilities “in-patient care”. When the insurance money runs out, the child is forced to quickly leave. Or, the parents pay steep daily rates for very expensive babysitting. Such facilities just don’t work long-term. It’s the band-aid approach.
Here’s how to work more effectively with your insurance agency:
1 Educate yourself about what works for kids with reactive attachment disorder. To get that information, watch What To Do If Your Child Has Attachment Disorder here.
2 Find an attachment specialist in your area. Your insurance company won’t know of a specialist. You’ll need that name ready and handy for when you talk to them.
3 Ask for a clinician with the insurance company to open a specialized case for your child’s disorder. Once assigned, educate that person about reactive attachment disorder.
4 Insurance companies love to save money. Let them know that you need an attachment specialist in your area to treat the problem cost-effectively. If they send you to someone or someplace that doesn’t truly understand the disorder, you’ll continue to seek help. Also, educate them regarding in-patient care if needed. While many insurance companies will cover the cost of residential treatment centers, they are expensive. Our program is actually less expensive than residential treatment centers, children typically stay for a shorter amount of time with us than in RTCs, and is far more effective than RTCs.
5 If your insurance agency denies your claims, always challenge them. I’m convinced that they deny most claims first and then wait to see what you’ll do—if anything. Be the squeaky wheel.
6 Ask us for help. If you’d like to send your child to The Institute for Attachment and Child Development, we’re happy to educate the specialist assigned to your insurance case.
7 Don’t give up! It’s frustrating to work with insurance companies. However, you’ll need to persist until you get the coverage your child needs.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net