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Friday, July 1, 2011

Finding and Funding Luke's Voice



I always thought that we had pretty good insurance, that is...up until my child was diagnosed with Apraxia of Speech and needed intensive speech therapy.  I received the first denial from UnitedHealth Care soon after my son had his first speech therapy session and  thought it was just a coding error on the submission.  6 denials and 4 appeals later, I now know that it wasn't a coding error.  UnitedHealth Care just flat out refuses to pay for any of the speech therapy that Luke needs to be able to communicate.  And before I get on a soapbox, I will get to the point.



To know that your child needs something and that you can't provide it for them is probably the worst feeling that a parent can have, a feeling of complete and total helplessness.

This is a feeling that I hope none of you will ever have to know. 

When realizing that our insurance company was not going to budge or even provide some speech therapy, I made it my mission to find a way.  If it meant that I would have to tell our story and go out of our comfort zone and ask for help, I would do it.  Pride has no place when it comes to the health and well being of your children. 




Enter The Lindsay Foundation and Laurie Hammond McMillan.  Laurie fought insurance companies for the 15 years of her daughter Lindsay's life.  She knows what helplessness feels like and after losing Lindsay, she formed The Lindsay Foundation so that no other family had to experience it.  The Lindsay Foundation's mission is to help families provide medical treatment, therapy, and equipment for their special needs children. www.lindsayfoundation.org

The first time that I spoke to Laurie on the phone I felt an instant connection.  She shared experiences with me, advice, and inspired me to keep fighting for Luke.  I think we spoke for over an hour that first night.  The thing that resonates most from that conversation was one word. 

Catastrophic.

I had never considered Apraxia of Speech to be a catastrophic, before then. 

I even tried to correct her and say that what Luke had wasn't catastrophic,

But it was...and before that conversation, I had no idea the real definition.

Catastrophic illness is defined as any illness that requires lengthy hospitalization, extremely expensive therapies, or other care that would deplete a family's financial resources, unless covered by special medical insurance policies.

My child has a neurological condition that could have a good prognosis, IF he had the proper treatment. Treatment that our insurance company called a luxury.  You read that correctly, UnitedHealth Care actually said that speech was a luxury during a phone call.  EASY FOR THEM TO SAY....they have a voice.



The Lindsay Foundation has provided a grant in the form of intensive and frequent speech therapy for Luke. 



I can honestly say that he would not be progressing as well as he has been without this therapy and for that I am forever grateful.  I may have never been able to hear these little words, if not for The Lindsay Foundation's help.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7Hh7PZnqM8

Please take a moment and register to vote for The Lindsay Foundation in the Vivint Gives Back Facebook Contest.  Each facebook account that likes Vivint can vote one time per day until August 27th.  http://www.vivint.com/givesbackproject/charity/24

You can read more about Luke at www.maggieandluke.blogspot.com,
Unlocking Luke's Voice facebook page https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Unlocking-Lukes-Voice/127569687314344 and www.unlockinglukesvoice.com.


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