Does Medicaid Pay for Weighted Blankets?
This information is current as of July 27, 2022.
Weighted blankets have been quite popular in the last ten years. They bring comfort to many people and serve as a medical device for folks with certain disabilities.
But how do you go about getting one of these? Does insurance pay? What about Medicaid? Does Medicaid pay for weighted blankets?
Depending on your plan, a weighted blanket may or may not be covered by Medicaid. Chances are, you may need to submit a claim with a diagnosis code and why you feel you need it.
This article will answer the following questions:
- What is a weighted blanket?
- Does Medicaid cover the cost of Weighted blankets?
- How does a weighted blanket work?
- Why would someone want a weighted blanket?
What Is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is a heavy blanket often used for therapeutic purposes. These blankets relieve anxiety and stress and usually weigh between 5 and 30 pounds. Weighted blankets are filled with plastic or glass beads and designed to produce a calming effect on the body.
How Does a Weighted Blanket Work?
The weighted blanket is almost like getting a hug. The blanket uses deep pressure stimulation, a deep touch applied to the body. This deep touch can be from hands, tools, or blankets, which relaxes the nervous system.
The famous autistic woman, Temple Grandin, developed deep pressure therapy and used it in the form of a “hug machine.” This significantly eased her anxiety while it applied gentle pressure to her body.
As a result of Ms. Grandin’s finding, the weighted blanket was developed, giving a type of hug as it presses on the body.
Weighted blankets help the body release oxytocin, which can increase the amount of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
What Types of Folks May Need a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are great for folks who suffer from several conditions like insomnia or ADHD. Let’s look at some of those conditions.
Alzheimer’s, the standard form of dementia, is often seen with depression. Along with depression, fear and exhaustion can present when folks with Alzheimer’s try to make sense of the world around them.
A weighted blanket can decrease the feelings of depression and anxiety in some patients.
Students and adults with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) have found deep pressure stimulation very helpful. Patients who wore a weighted blanket or vest found their tasks were completed sooner. They also found that their attention to tasks and overall behavior improved.
Further research supports the theory that weighted blankets can help folks with ADHD sleep more soundly.
Weighted blankets are beneficial for improving sleep quality and helping folks get to sleep. People who have insomnia have found a weighted blanket to be helpful.
Weighted blankets are also a great comfort to children who struggle with sleep.
PTSD is notorious for having many negative symptoms, and weighted blankets have successfully overcome those symptoms. They help by relaxing the nervous system and assisting patients with trauma to feel more grounded and safer.
One of the most common reasons folks use weighted blankets is to ease the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One of the most significant symptoms of ASD is having problems sleeping. As mentioned above, weighted blankets can help those with issues with proper sleep.
Pressure therapy can also help with tense muscles and social anxiety.
Does Medicaid Cover Weighted Blankets?
There are a lot of economic aspects when it comes to insurance covering a weighted blanket. Insurance companies, including Medicaid, differ from state to state.
As with any other medical device, the price of weighted blankets depends on several factors, such as material, weight, size, and whether or not they are custom-made. A blanket made with cotton will not be priced the same as those made with flannel or another fabric.
Reach out and speak to your state’s Medicaid agency to determine whether they will cover a weighted blanket. Some insurance companies will see a weighted blanket as a medical device, while others may not.
Kids with special needs are more in need of a weighted blanket and have the best chance of getting Medicaid to cover it.
State Medicaid policies change regularly, and the best way to determine if your state will cover a weighted blanket is by contacting them.
The following is a list of Medicaid websites for each state:
- Alabama: https://medicaid.alabama.gov/
- Alaska: https://health.alaska.gov/dpa/Pages/medicaid/default.aspx
- Arizona: https://www.azahcccs.gov/
- Arkansas: https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/divisions-shared-services/medical-services/
- California: https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/1620
- Colorado: https://www.healthfirstcolorado.com/
- Connecticut: https://portal.ct.gov/HUSKY
- Delaware: https://dhss.delaware.gov/dmma/
- District of Columbia: https://dhcf.dc.gov/service/medicaid
- Florida: https://www.flmedicaidmanagedcare.com/
- Georgia: https://medicaid.georgia.gov/
- Hawaii: https://medquest.hawaii.gov/en/about/what-is-medicaid.html
- Idaho: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/services-programs/medicaid-health
- Illinois: https://abe.illinis.gov/abe/access/
- Indiana: https://www.in.gov/medicaid/
- Iowa: https://dhs.iowa.gov/ime/members
- Kansas: https://www.kancare.ks.gov/
- Kentucky: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dms/Pages/default.aspx
- Louisiana: https://ldh.la.gov/page/4125
- Maine: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms
- Maryland: https://health.maryland.gov/mmcp/pages/home.aspx
- Massachusetts: https://www.mass.gov/topics/masshealth
- Michigan: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/assistance-programs/medicaid
- Minnesota: https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/adults/health-care/health-care-programs/programs-and-services/medical-assistance.jsp
- Mississippi: https://medicaid.ms.gov/
- Missouri: https://mydss.mo.gov/healthcare
- Montana: https://dphhs.mt.gov/montanahealthcareprograms/memberservices
- Nebraska: https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Medicaid-Eligibility.aspx
- Nevada: https://www.medicaid.nv.gov/
- New Hampshire: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/programs-services/medicaid
- New Jersey: https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmahs/clients/medicaid/
- New Mexico: https://nmmedicaid.portal.conduent.com/static/index.htm
- New York: https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/
- North Carolina: https://medicaid.ncdhhs.gov/
- North Dakota: https://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/medicalserv/medicaid/
- Ohio: https://medicaid.ohio.gov/
- Oklahoma: https://oklahoma.gov/ohca.html
- Oregon: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/hsd/ohp/pages/apply.aspx
- Pennsylvania: https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx
- Rhode Island: https://healthsourceri.com/medicaid/
- South Carolina: https://www.scdhhs.gov/
- South Dakota: https://dss.sd.gov/medicaid/
- Tennessee: https://www.tn.gov/tenncare/members-applicants/eligibility/tenncare-medicaid.html
- Texas: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/services/health/medicaid-chip
- Utah: https://medicaid.utah.gov/
- Vermont: https://dvha.vermont.gov/members
- Virginia: https://www.dmas.virginia.gov/
- Washington: https://www.hca.wa.gov/health-care-services-supports/apple-health-medicaid-coverage
- West Virginia: https://dhhr.wv.gov/bms/pages/default.aspx
- Wisconsin: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/medicaid/index.htm
- Wyoming: https://health.wyo.gov/healthcarefin/medicaid/
Find Out Whether or Not Your Insurance Will Reimburse
Insurance providers may only reimburse for specific brands of weighted blankets, and they may also have a limit as to how much they will reimburse.
Medicaid tends to reimburse claims on a case-by-case basis.
You May Need a Prescription
If you can obtain a prescription from your doctor or your child’s pediatrician, it may help you in the long run.
Some doctors are still unaware of the benefits of a weighted blanket. To get insurance to cover one, the doctor must obtain enough literature to convince the insurance company that it’s necessary.
If You Do Have to Purchase a Weighted Blanket
You may have to buy a weighted blanket, whether you can get reimbursed by Medicaid. While they can be expensive, there are some great options for under $50 on Amazon. I’m posting links to two of my favorites, one for adults and one for children.
- The Yescool weighted blanket for adults comes in many different sizes and weights. It has a cooling feature that makes it the perfect sleeping partner and starts at $37.
- The MAXTID weighted blanket for kids comes in different sizes and weights and starts at $39.
Weighted blankets are used by many American adults and children with special needs and are a great comfort. Whether or not Medicaid covers a weighted blanket is to be determined. Your best bet is to reach out to your state’s agency and determine whether your plan covers it.
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