What is Katie Beckett? How do you apply for Katie Beckett?
Having a special needs kiddos means a lot of things in your life will change and one thing that definitely will change is your medical bills! There are resources to help you with this if you need them even if you don’t fall into the Medicaid financial bracket. Katie Beckett is one of those resources.
I first learned about Katie Beckett through our sons’ service coordinator at Infant/Toddler. Having been raised on a strict “we don’t accept government assistance” attitude I kindly accepted the info and then didn’t think about it again. “Why would we need that?” I thought! My husband has insurance through work already so why would my son need insurance if he already has it! We did just fine with that for quite a while, it wasn’t until late last summer when our new PT suggested we get our son a gait trainer.
I was so excited at the thought of my son being able to stand and walk!! I couldn’t wait to get this gait trainer, how quickly could we get it!?!
Norco came by and left a loaner, I asked about cost. “They can run upwards of about $2-3,000 but most insurances cover them.”
Wow. That’s a lot of money but luckily we have insurance!!!
I called our insurance to get them in on the process and make sure we were covered, why wouldn’t we be though I mean we pay close to $900/month just to have this insurance, of course, they would pay for this! “Yes, as long as this is prescribed by his doctor or therapist we do cover medical equipment…” I knew it! “…durable medical equipment falls under 80/20…” crap, what’s 20% of $3,000 “….after he meets his deductible”.
Huh? His deductible?
Reality Sets In
Wait, his deductible is $2,000 and he’s only met $300 of that this year…so basically we were going to pay for all of it. We couldn’t. Not all at once. My heart was crushed, I had this vision of my son standing and walking and it was vanishing. Upset doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Thankfully we applied and were approved for a grant from the amazing folks at Wheel to Walk Foundation and they provided Joaquin with a brand new Rifton Pacer Gait Trainer!
But that experience left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Now that Joaquin was getting older his development delay was really showing itself. On top of that, his PT started talking about orthotics…I was starting to drown under this pile of future medical bills. I contacted his service coordinator again, “can you tell me more about Katie Beckett”.
My biggest concern was that Katie Beckett was going to replace his existing insurance. Nope, it doesn’t. It’s a secondary, a backup!
I was worried we wouldn’t get approved for financial reasons. Nope, approval is based on the child’s development and need NOT your finances.
I started feeling much better about this! Our service coordinator was amazing, she gave me some tips and said that if Joaquin was denied to let her know and she would advocate on his behalf and have us reapply.
So now we get to the fun part….How To Apply For Katie Beckett
Applying for Katie Beckett
Fill out the application and write “Katie Beckett” on top of each page if you know you will not be approved for Medicaid.
Submit your application via mail
You will receive more applications through the mail from Liberty Health (I can’t remember how long this takes but it wasn’t long enough that I was ready to call so I’m guessing under 2 weeks)
Fill out the new applications from Liberty Health. You will have a limited time to submit these so get on it and get the paperwork from your doctors’ office or anything else that will be helpful. If your child has a diagnosis include that paperwork. You can call your doctors’ office and request printouts or you if you have access to your child’s medical records online you can print them out at home.
Be honest with where your child is at NOW.
Maybe your child is on the brink of a new development, you want to state where they are NOW not where they will be next week.
Get paperwork in right away and if you can drop these off in person!
Sure the office may not request this but it doesn’t hurt to get it in someone’s hands and give them a face to the application. I had to submit mine right around Thanksgiving and I did not want to risk it getting lost during the holidays so I asked my sister to sit in the car with my kids while I ran in to drop them off. It was a PAIN, BUT I got face to face time with a person, I asked questions about the process, and I left with a name that I could call in case I had questions. This worked out well for me because I did end up having questions!
Don’t be nervous about the SIBR Assessment
You’ll be scheduled for an appointment with someone who will come to your home to do a SIBR assessment. It’s just a bunch of questions. Again, BE HONEST about your child’s development. Yes, you may want to sugar coat things or think “well he did hold his toothbrush that one time so yes he can do it on his own”….BE HONEST. It’s hard but it’s in the best interest of your kiddo to be honest with what they can and can’t do.
You’ll get approved or you won’t.
They say this takes up to 2 weeks but we received the Medicaid cards in the mail that weekend so within 5 days. We didn’t get a welcome letter or anything to tell us we were approved all of the sudden the cards were in the mail! That following Monday Joaquin had an orthopedic appointment so I took the cards in and turns out everything was set up and it was now, officially, his secondary insurance!
Consider applying for the Developmental Disability Waiver.
You’ll be given an application for the DD Waiver when you when you receive your Liberty Health applications but you can also apply when your SIBR is done. Chances are if you are approved for Katie Beckett you may be approved for the DD Waiver as well!
More on the DD Waiver here.
What it all comes down to is that you have to what’s best for your kdddo. If that means you have to fill out a bunch of paperwork and jump through hoops, do it. The pay off is worth it!!
How has Katie Beckett helped us?
- Katie Beckett covers our co-pays. In 2017 we did 1 outpatient therapy per week so copay costs were $30/week; $120/month. Once we started seeing the extent of his delay we had to add on additional therapies 1 turned into 3 (OT, PT, and Speech) and after this Speech Eval his SLP requested 2 visits per week because he needed to work on Communication as well as Oral Strength and each needed its own visit. That means we are up to 4.
Add it up. $120/week, $480 a month!
- Katie Beckett covers what your insurance doesn’t. That. Includes. Durable. Medical. Equipment. That means his new hip brace was covered. His Ankle Foot Orthotics’s ($1800 btw), covered!
- Katie Beckett covers specialist visits that our insurance didn’t cover. Surprise surprise. Our insurance didn’t cover Joaquin’s trips to his orthopedic surgeon or his x-rays for his hip dysplasia. That’s over $500 per visit.
- Katie Beckett means you get dental! At $900/month you would think our insurance would have dental but nope it doesn’t.
- Katie Beckett means our (medically) most expensive child ends up being our least expensive!
Katie Beckett means that when we lost our health insurance, for two months, Joaquin did not need to stop receiving therapy! Of course you’re never planning to lose your insurance but what will happen if you do??
When you have private insurance you don’t really think you’ll ever need anything else, why would you?! But in our case, with the high deductibles, lack of coverage for the exact things our son needs, and the surprise of losing our insurance, Katie Beckett has saved us from drowning in debt and not having to limit Joaquin’s therapy.
I hope you found this information helpful and if you did, please share it! There are lots of parents out there feeling alone and confused in this, let’s be a community of resources and information! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below!