The short answer to this question is “yes”. Medicare is currently the single largest funding source for AAC Devices.
Medicare covers what they call SGDs (Speech Generating Devices) as part of their program to cover DMEs (Durable Medical Equipment). This coverage is a benefit of the Medicare Part B program.
To be eligible for an SGD, the Medicare recipient must satisfy the following 4 requirements:
- They must be enrolled in Medicare Part B
- They must live in their family home, or an assisted living facility, or a group home. They cannot be in a hospital, hospice or nursing home.
- They must have the recommendation from a licensed Speech Language Pathologist that they are in need of an AAC device.
- They must have a doctor’s prescription for an AAC device and all related items.
There are several resources that offer extensive support to individuals seeking Medicare coverage for an SGD. One of these resources is the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Detailed information can be found on their website at – http://www.asha.org/SLP/healthcare/Medicare-Speech-Generating-Devices-Information/
A second valuable resource is the AAC-RERC on Communication Enhancement. Specific information on Medicare funding can be found at http://aac-rerc.psu.edu/index.php/pages/show/id/5.
The Assistive Technology Law Center is a prime site to bookmark for SGD Funding support. As stated on their website, The Assistive Technology Law Center, Inc. (ATLC), is a public interest law firm located in Ithaca, New York. The ATLC provides information and advocacy assistance to expand coverage and funding for assistive devices, including SGDs. Lewis Golinker, Esq., the founder and director of the ATLC, has played a leading role in advocating for SGD funding and for supporting consumers experiencing difficulty with the process. He can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ATLC’s website is http://www.aacfundinghelp.com/contact.html.
Finally, most major AAC device manufacturers provide some form of funding support to individuals seeking Medicare funding for their respective SGDs.