INSURANCE AND TAX GUIDANCE
New IRS Rule: Tax Deduction For Special Education Tuition
"The school may offer subjects included in an ordinary school curriculum, but it must differ from an ordinary school in that it utilizes specialized education techniques to address handicaps"
Medical and tutoring expenses can be deducted as well as mileage.
Tefra is a cost share government Insurance program for children with disabilities The premiums are on a sliding scale based on your income. Certain therapies can be covered.
Employer & Private Providers
Some providers may cover speech and language therapy. Remember, dyslexia is a language based learning disability. However, the trend is to cover services only for a clearly definable medical illness making coverage for children a “gray area”.
These agencies offer sliding fee scales. Non-profit agencies receive funding from various sources (such as United Way, etc.) rather than depending exclusively on fees to pay the cost of services. This additional funding makes it possible for them to provide some services at below actual cost. You must qualify financially, according to their guidelines (generally by being below a certain income, or by being able to prove financial hardship), to be eligible for a lower fee.
FSA - Flexible Spending Accounts
This type of account enables you to pay medical and/or other qualifying expenses (such as speech-language therapy) with pre-tax dollars. You elect to contribute a portion of your pay to the FSA. The money going into it avoids income tax, and thus actually lowers the cost of these services to you. This benefit may be available through your employer. This method is recommended for paying for private speech-language services, when insurance does not cover these services. If no FSA plan is available, perhaps your employer would consider setting one up. It seems likely that as insurance benefits are cut back, this particular benefit (FSAs) is going to be more valuable than ever before.
HSA - Health Savings Account
The Health Savings Account is similar to the Flexible Spending Account in that it is tax deferred (pre-tax) dollars you elect to save for the purpose of qualifying expenses. The Health Savings Account is not through an employer and many families qualify.