US Government Funding for Konnekt Videophone
There are several types of government funding and subsidies available for Konnekt Videophone and Captioning Videophone:
- California Connect (DDTP), for Californians needing accessible phone services
- Assistive Technology Act programs, for US state- and territory-level help
- Medicaid, for those with limited income and long-term care needs
- Medicare, for Americans 65 and over, or with a disability
- Private health insurance, employer-sponsored or self-funded
- VA Assistive Technologies, for veterans and active duty service members
- Affordability Connectivity Program, for people needing assistance with Internet costs
Employer Assistance is available under The Americans with Disability Act Title 1, for employees with disabilities.
Seek help and be persistent. Most programs require a licensed health professional to document the medical need and prescribe the device. This may require advocacy, creativity and persistence.
Wording is important. The Konnekt Captioning Videophone and Videophone have been categorized variously as a Speech Generating Device (SGD) or an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device.
- Speech Generating Devices are covered by Medicare and now generally include devices that generate text for the purpose of communicating with caregivers / physicians
- AAC devices are covered by Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and hundreds of commercial health insurers
Look up a Program’s listed support categories before deciding how to label the device you require, and before describing how it enables you to communicate or function in daily activities (specific to your disability).
Look for precedent and speak to multiple Program administrators. There can be variability in the interpretation of guidelines.
1. California Connect (previously called DDTP)
For Californians needing accessible phone services
2. Assistive Technology Act programs
For US state- and territory-level help
- Benefits vary across each state and territory
- Programs may provide lending and demo centers, financial loans or assistance for assistive technology, and/or an equipment re-use program with organizational partners
- Programs and eligibility vary across the US states and territories
- Visit the National Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training (AT3) Center, and select your state or territory
- Contact your Program representative, discuss your need for a Konnekt Videophone or Captioning Videophone, and mention Konnekt US sales/support partner ESSI
For those with limited income and long-term care needs
- Most states cover assistive technology to support the functioning and independence of Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities through
- Medicaid covers AAC devices
- Equipment / appliances must
- medically assist (e.g. to help overcome a speech / hearing / cognitive / dexterity / vision functional disability);
- be used predominantly for this purpose and not generally by individuals without a disability; and
- be ordered by a physician as part of a plan of care
- Medicaid is for Americans with low income; criteria vary from state to state
- Contact Medicaid in your state; ask about Home and community-based waiver services, and assistive technology funding; discuss your specific need for a Konnekt Videophone, generally categorized as an AAC
- Ask a doctor, audiologist or speech pathologist for written evidence of your disability and need for visual-communication assistance with your hearing, cognitive, speech, dexterity or vision need
Work in Progress
For Americans 65 and over, or with a disability
- Medicare Part B covers up to 80 percent of the cost of assistive technologies such as speech generating devices (SGD)
- The Medicare definition of speech generating devices may now include devices that generate text (such as the Konnekt Captioning Videophone) for the purpose of communicating with caregivers and physicians
- The device must be medically necessary to the individual, e.g. to improve the functioning of hearing or speech, or to overcome a vision or mobility condition that limits daily communications
- The device must be predominantly in use to support such medical purposes, and generally not useful to someone without illness, injury or disability; for example, the Captioning Videophone is used predominantly to support hearing/speaking disabilities, and the regular Konnekt Videophone is used predominantly to support communication for a person with cognitive impairment, partial blindness or a mobility/dexterity disability
- Ask your health professional to evaluate your need, prescribe your device, and submit a letter of medical necessity.
- Typically, your Medicare-participating provider, such as your doctor, fills in the forms and files the reimbursement request. However for Durable Medical Equipment (DME), which may be purchased or rented, the supplier usually files the claim. If the provider or supplier is not enrolled in Medicare, you must file the claim.
5. Private health insurance
Employer-sponsored or self-funded
Assistive Technology devices and services, including Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices, are covered by hundreds of commercial health insurers
- Check coverage and criteria with your insurance company
- You will likely need a health professional to
- evaluate your need;
- prescribe your device and any supporting services; and
- prepare a letter of medical necessity
6. Veterans Affairs Assistive Technologies
For veterans and active duty service members
- The US Department of Veteran Affairs can help with Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC)
- A Konnekt Videophone can augment speech through the use of gestures, captions, facial expressions and lip reading
7. Affordability Connectivity Program (ACP)
For people needing assistance with Internet costs
- ACP provides a $30-per-month discount per household on Internet service
For employees with disabilities
If you work, your employer may be obligated to provide a working environment that supports your ability to work effectively. This may include assistive technology, such as a Konnekt Videophone or Captioning Videophone, for your workplace or home office.
- The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations.
- Learn your rights under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Title 1
- Ask your manager or HR representative
- Employers may be eligible for tax credits for adaptive equipment purchase
Konnekt has sales/support partners across Australia / Asia, Europe, United Kingdom, North America, New Zealand and Africa.