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Insurance is usually the primary method of payment for an inpatient hospitalization. The crisis clinician or intake worker who assesses that your child needs hospitalization will obtain initial authorization from your insurance company before your child is admitted to the Inpatient Psychiatry Service (IPS) at Boston Children's Hospital.
If you have insurance, please know your mental health benefits. Most insurance companies have a mental health toll-free number (generally found on the back of your insurance card) to answer questions about benefits.
You can contact your insurance company and inquire about coverage including: number of days of inpatient care allowed per year, any co-payments or deductibles that are your responsibility and whether the Children's unit is considered "in-network" or "out-of-network" for your insurance plan.
If you do not have insurance, or if your child's mental health benefits run out, you may be eligible for Massachusetts Medicaid (MassHealth). Your child's clinician can help you begin this process.
Keep written records to help with insurance requests.
Keep copies of all correspondence - incomplete records are the primary factor when insurers refuse to pay for a service.
Sort out insurance details with a mental health care advocate.
Get help if something isn't clear in a notice from a public or private agency.
*From The Parents' How-to Guide to Children's Mental Health Services in MA; Boston Bar Assoc. with support from Children's.
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