The Affordable Care Act — known to many in Oregon and around the country as Obamacare — has generated more questions than answers since it has begun to take hold of the public consciousness. In particular, people who receive disability benefits via Social Security might be curious or concerned about how new requirements might affect their ability to get the care they need and have come to expect.
Under the Affordable Care Act, many of what are deemed to be essential health benefits are covered. Within those broad benefit categories, however, insurance companies might filter out some forms of care that are not required to be covered.
One such type of care that might be in question for people is what is known as habilitative services. This is not physical therapy as what might come to some people’s minds; rather it’s individual time with a therapist for people to better their daily living skills after they have been dealing with their illness or injury for an extended period of time.
As an example, a 20-year-old college student who has severe cerebral palsy is only able to speak with the aid of a computer. He cannot type, so the young man has a device that tracks his eye movements and highlights things he wants to communicate via a speaker. A speech-language pathologist has helped him to master the system and helps load different phrases that the man can use. However, the therapy is paid for by the man’s parents out of pocket.
Under the Affordable Care Act, such treatments might be covered. Regardless of any changes to the law, however, people who could benefit from receiving Social Security disability benefits may wish to consult with an attorney experienced in dealing with these sorts of issues.
Source: Kaiser Health News, “Obamacare Presents Complex Choices For People With Disabilities,” Eric Whitney, Aug. 13, 2013