My Child's Insurance Won't Pay for His ADHD Testing

October 13, 2021 Sarah Sharp

About a month ago, I talked about getting my child evaluated for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Technically, though, it wasn't a formal evaluation. It was basically a request (or plea, however you want to look at it) for my child's insurance company to foot the bill for ADHD testing. It was supposed to be the first step in getting the help we needed. Unfortunately, the insurance company decided it would also be the last step. They denied our request, even though the doctor thought ADHD testing was warranted. We're right back where we started.

My Child's Insurance Company Can't See His Struggle

Everyone who comes into contact with my child sees the way he struggles with ADHD--me, his father (who also has ADHD), his aunt and uncle, his teachers, doctor, and grandma. The list goes on. Everyone sees that my child needs help for his ADHD except some government employee who's never met him, sitting in an office in the nearest large metropolitan area.

Finding out about the denial crushed me. To make matters worse, the doctor said that insurance companies sometimes make these decisions with no rhyme or reason. Maybe they feel like my kid isn't all that dysfunctional yet. I don't know. What I do know is my child's ADHD testing isn't happening right now because his insurance company doesn't want to pay for it, which means we're no closer to getting him the treatment he needs.

My Child's ADHD Questionnaire Didn't Ask the Right Questions

Honestly, when I was filling out the questionnaire, I worried that our request would be denied. Some sections didn't accurately reflect my child and his struggle with ADHD, specifically, questions regarding defiance. They seemed to apply more to older kids, asking stuff like, "Does your child destroy other people's property?" "Has he ever inflicted bodily harm on anyone?" and "Do you ever feel physically threatened by him?"

I think these are ways an older kid might manifest ADHD symptoms, but not a child as young as mine. They didn't ask the right questions, so they didn't get an accurate picture of how my child's ADHD impacts his life at school and at home.

My Child's Insurance Company Won't Pay for His ADHD Testing, Now What?

I don't think it's right that someone who has never met my child and has absolutely no medical training gets to call the shots when it comes to how we handle his ADHD and mental health. It's not right, but that's the reality of the situation. What I need to focus on now is what I'm going to do next.

  • I'll contact my child's school about ADHD testing. My child's doctor recommended asking his school if they could administer the test. If they can, then can make that decision without a stranger arbitrarily telling me no.
  • I can do more research about how to help a child with ADHD. If we can't get the help that we need right now, then I need to kick my mommy-ing skills into overdrive. I can do that by educating myself and using trial-and-error until we figure out what works best for my child and his ADHD.
  • I'm thinking about switching my child's insurance company. If his current company refuses to do its job and pay for ADHD testing, then I'll simply switch companies. That's the beauty of the free market.

Have you had problems with your child's insurance company not wanting to foot the bill for mental health treatment? How did you deal with it? Let's share our ideas and insights in the comments.

APA Reference
Sharp, S. (2021, October 13). My Child's Insurance Won't Pay for His ADHD Testing, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Sarah Sharp

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March, 10 2022 at 8:43 am

It's outrageous! I lived in Europe for 15 years and now I KNOW that it's possible to have national health insurance and have great care -- both in Italy and Uk. Good Luck.

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