Although cerebral palsy is a common childhood disorder, there isn’t enough emphasis on the high expenses associated with it. If you have a baby or child with cerebral palsy, it’s important to learn about the costs and expenses associated with the disorder, which can help you plan accordingly.
According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the “average lifetime costs per person were estimated at $1,014,000 for persons with mental retardation, $921,000 for persons with cerebral palsy, $383,000 for persons with hearing loss, and $601,000 for persons with vision impairment.”
What these means for parents or guardians of a child with cerebral palsy, is that they can expect around $742,326 in indirect medical costs, $93,942 in direct medical costs, and around $84,732 in direct, non-medical costs.These figures do not represent or include any out of pocket expenses that parents or guardians may pay, including lost wages, trips to the emergency room, over-the-counter medications, caregiving expenses, and more.
The above financial figures can fluctuate, depending on the severity of the child’s cerebral palsy, insurance reimbursement, and other associated conditions.
The U.S. also pays a large amount each year in order to help people living with cerebral palsy. For example, the nation spends around $9.2 billion each year to cover expenses such as early mortality and for those with cerebral palsy who are unable to work.
Other national expenses include over $1 billion for supplying medications, hospital stays, physician visits, therapies, long-term care, and more. An additional $1.05 billion is spent on educational costs and home modification expenses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), out of all children who were enrolled in Medicaid in 2005, those with cerebral palsy required the highest expenses. In fact, medical expenses for children with cerebral palsy are 10 times higher when compared to children without the disorder.
There are a number of medical expenses that go along with cerebral palsy, depending on the severity and the type of CP the child has. The more the severe the disorder, the higher the expenses usually are. In general, however, cerebral palsy expenses can include:
- Payments or co-payments for doctor visits
- Medication costs
- Therapy costs (which can include physical, occupational, speech, behavioral, and more)
- Surgery expenses (if applicable)
- Hospital costs
- Costs for mobility assistance equipment (walkers, wheelchairs, etc.)
- Home accommodation costs
- Lab and imaging testing costs
- Specialists expenses
Financial Assistance to Help With Cerebral Palsy Costs
There are a number of ways in families can obtain financial assistance to help offset the overwhelming prices that come along with caring for a child with cerebral palsy. For instance, there are several types of government assistance options, insurance options, and charity organizations that can assist you and your family. For more information, refer to our article, Cerebral Palsy Financial Assistance.