Clearing Roadblocks to Treating Your Stutter

For roughly 3 million Americans, stuttering is a daily struggle. Stuttering can be very frustrating,  and treatment for it can be expensive, because it requires ongoing therapy. But this National Stuttering Awareness Week (May 10–15), we want to talk about treatment, and let you know that EZ can find a plan that meets your needs, so you don’t have to worry about paying for your treatment out-of-pocket.

Stuttering Explained

man's mouth open with letters coming out of it
Stuttering generally begins at a young age, but can follow you into adulthood.

Stuttering is a speech disorder that is marked by the involuntary repetition of sounds, syllables, or words, or interruptions in speech known as blocks. If you have a stuttering problem, you know exactly what you want to say but will have a hard time saying it. You might also experience rapid blinking of your eyes or tremors of the lips. 

Stuttering can affect people of all ages, but is most often seen in children ages 2-6; boys and men are two to three times as likely to stutter as are girls and women as they get older. Approximately 75% of children outgrow their stutter, but for the remaining 25%, it can continue well into adulthood.

Causes of Stuttering

Stuttering can be either a developmental or neurological issue. Developmental stuttering is the most common form of stuttering, and according to scientists and doctors, it generally occurs when a child’s speech and language abilities are unable to meet what they are trying to say. 

While developmental stuttering can be genetic, stuttering can also be caused by other factors, such as a stroke, head trauma, or brain injuries. This is known as neurogenic stuttering, a condition in which the brain has a difficult time coordinating the regions of the brain involved in speaking. 

Treatment for Stuttering

Unfortunately, there is no one “cure” for stuttering, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be treated or outgrown with time. There are a variety of treatments, depending on several factors such as age and communication goals. Therapy can help you minimize stuttering when talking by teaching you to speak more slowly, to focus on regulating your breathing, and to progress from single-syllable responses to longer words. 

speech therapy written in red marker in a calendar day

There are medications that are used to treat stuttering, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them for that purpose. Medications for epilepsy, anxiety, or depression have been used to treat stuttering, but side effects can make it difficult to keep using them for a long time.

Finding Health Insurance Coverage

One of the most important factors in getting the help you need for your stutter is your health insurance plan. Before purchasing a plan, make sure you understand what coverage it offers, and make sure it will cover evaluation and treatment for stuttering. Some policies will list stuttering as a specific exclusion, and will not cover treatment for stuttering treatment and therapies, so you’ll need to look at the specific language of your policy. For example, it might say that treatment is only covered when it involves  “restorative and rehabilitative care or treatment for loss of impairment of speech when the treatment is medically necessary because of an illness, injury or surgery.”

If all of this sounds a little confusing, and you’re not sure what plan is right for you, speak to an EZ agent! EZ agents are highly trained and knowledgeable, and will sort through all available plans to make sure that stuttering is covered in yours. 

We offer a wide range of health insurance plans from top-rated insurance companies in every state. And because we work with so many companies, and can offer all of the plans available in your area, we can find you a plan that saves you a lot of money – even hundreds of dollars – even if you don’t qualify for a subsidy. There is no obligation, or hassle, just free quotes on all available plans in your area. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local agent, call 888-350-1890.

Free At-Home Covid Test Kits: How Many Will Your Insurance Cover?

Although rates of Covid hospitalizations have been steadily declining, the pandemic is not yet over and there is still a danger of becoming infected with the virus. For this reason, it is important to stay vigilant and get tested if you have any symptoms or come into contact with someone who has Covid. But fortunately, getting tested for Covid is now a little bit easier: a few weeks ago, President Biden issued a directive requiring health insurance companies to cover at-home Covid test kits. Americans can now have access to free at-home tests, but how many will your insurance cover?

How Many Tests Are Covered?

covid tests
Health insurance companies will now help cover the cost of 8 at-home antigen tests per household per month.

Last month, the Biden Administration mandated that health insurance companies help cover the cost of 8 at-home antigen tests per household per month. In addition, if you are told by your doctor that you need to get tested more often because of underlying conditions, there is no limit on how many tests your insurance will cover. 

In order to get the free tests, you will need to purchase them at any store where they are available and then apply for reimbursement from your health insurance company. It is important to note, though, that most insurers will only reimburse you up to $12 per test, which means you’ll have to pay for the rest out-of-pocket.

Several states are also issuing free COVID-19 tests to residents, including Colorado, Iowa, Connecticut, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

In addition, you can get 4 free Covid test kits by requesting them online at, or by calling 1-800-232-0233. If you order your tests this way, you can expect to receive them in 7 to 12 days. 

How Much Are The Tests?

At-home Covid tests can be found at pharmacies like Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, and even online at Amazon. The price varies depending on the type and the brand, but tests generally cost around $10 to $25 per kit, with two tests per kit. Currently, most Walgreens and CVS stores are selling Abbott’s BinaxNow and Quidel’s QuickVue tests (two of the first tests authorized by the Food and Drug Administration) for $24 for a pack of two.

What If You Don’t Have Health Insurance?the word free written in red

If you don’t have health insurance or any kind of coverage, you can order your 4 free tests; there will also be locations where you can pick up free at-home Covid tests. According to the Biden Administration, those without insurance will soon be able to access test kits at community health clinics and other local sites. 

What If You Test Positive At Home?

If you take an at-home test and test positive, it is recommended that you share the results with your doctor or medical provider. You should also isolate for at least five days after getting your positive test result, and stay home until you are no longer symptomatic.

Does Hypnotherapy Actually Work?

Hypnosis dates back to at least the 18th century, when it was used to induce dreams and get to the root of a problem. Nowadays, many people swear by it as a way to help battle obesity, quit smoking, fight phobias, and find relief from other conditions. So have you ever considered hypnotherapy, and have you been wondering whether it’s actually worth your time? Your health insurance plan might actually cover hypnotherapy, but before you make up your mind, find out what the science has to say about it.

Hypnotherapy Explaineda stopwatch swinging back and forth

Maybe your only experience with hypnosis is seeing it on TV or a magician’s stage, but hypnotherapy is not a stage show. It is a form of psychotherapy, in which hypnosis is used by a hypnotherapist or psychologist during a counseling session to help relax a patient. The therapist will essentially place you in a hypnotic state, or a trance, so that they can help you open up about traumatic or painful experiences, and explore the memories that are hidden from your conscious mind. It essentially seeks to unite your conscious and subconscious minds to help create a solution to a problem. 

So what’s the reasoning behind putting you into this state? During hypnosis, the subconscious mind is more active and accessible to the therapist, so you will become more open to your therapist’s suggestions and guidance. Being susceptible in this way will hopefully help you to make positive changes in your life and help you to deal with whatever issue you are going through. Don’t worry though, you will remain in complete control during the sessions; you will be able to understand, comprehend, and remember things – there won’t be any clucking like a chicken, or any weird or inappropriate things going on while hypnotized!

Methods Used During Hypnotherapy

There are two main methods used during hypnotherapy:

  1. Suggestion therapy–  During this kind of therapy, you are put in a trance-like state and the therapist provides you with guidance and suggestions. This is typically the therapy that is used to help control or stop unwanted or unhealthy behaviors like gambling, nail-biting, smoking, etc. Some studies have even suggested that it is beneficial for people with chronic pain.
  2. Analysis– Also referred to as regression therapy, this is when a therapist digs deep into your subconscious mind to bring out repressed memories from past traumas, all of which could be causing psychological distress, mental health conditions, or problematic behaviors. During this therapy, the psychologist will put you into a relaxed state and then explore past events in your life so that you can move past them. The reasoning behind using this method is that hypnotized individuals are up to 50% more capable of handling painful stimuli.

What Hypnotherapy Can Be Used For

black and white picture of a person sitting on the floor with a bottle of alcohol in their hand
Hypnotherapy can help a person get over unhealthy behaviors, such as alcoholism.

Hypnotherapy is used to treat a wide range of conditions and unhealthy behaviors, and many believe it can help with:

  • Cessation of smoking
  • Improving sleep and overcoming sleep disorders
  • Alcoholism
  • Weight loss
  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Does It Work?

So does hypnotherapy actually work? Perhaps you have heard success stories from friends or read a few anecdotes online, but if you are considering it, you should get  the facts for yourself. Research has found that:

  • Hypnosis has a success rate of 93% after 6 sessions. 
  • Hypnosis and guided visualization were over 30 times more effective for weight loss than dieting alone. Results from 18 different studies confirmed that those who received hypnosis lost more weight than 90% of those not receiving hypnosis, and they maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended.
  • Hypnosis is 3 times as effective as a nicotine patch and 15 times more effective than willpower for quitting smoking.
  • Hypnosis reduces pain and speeds recovery from surgery- hypnosis used in conjunction with local anesthesia was associated with improved intraoperative patient comfort, and with reduced anxiety and pain.
  • A 2018 study of burn wound patients found that hypnosis was highly effective in managing pain and reducing the secondary symptoms of anxiety.
  • A meta-analysis from 2018 reviewed the findings of almost 400 records, 15 studies, and 17 trials of hypnosis for controlling the symptoms of anxiety. At the end of treatment, the average participant in the 17 trials reported more reduced anxiety than 79% of the control groups.
  • A 6-month study in Boston showed that 73% of participants who had chronic fatigue syndrome reported increased energy, more restful periods of sleep, and better concentration at work after receiving hypnotherapy.

Does It Work for Everyone?hypnosis susceptibility infographic

Hypnosis is not right for everyone, because some people are unable to or will not allow themselves to fully enter a state of hypnosis. With that being said, approximately 5-10% of the population is highly susceptible to hypnotic suggestions, and even if you’re not in this group, the chances are still high that hypnosis can help you. In fact, around 60-79% of people are moderately susceptible, and the remaining 25-30% are If you’re trying to lose weight, stop smoking, control substance abuse, or overcome a phobia, hypnosis might be worth a try.

Want To Try It?

Hypnotherapy is becoming a much more popular and accepted form of treatment, since it can feel like an “easier” way to help with a condition. If you’re interested in trying it out, it is important to find a licensed therapist; when looking for a hypnotherapist make sure to check their credentials, and ask if they offer a free consultation so you can meet them first. In addition, while checking their credentials, make sure to call your health insurance company to see if the therapist or psychologist is in your network and how much of the session they will cover. 

Health Insurance Coverage For Hypnotherapy

hand holding a stethoscope in a bubble
Health insurance can cover 50-80% of hypnotherapy sessions depending on where you live and the plan you have.

Depending on where you live, a session can cost anywhere from $80 to $300 if you don’t have health insurance, but  most insurance companies will cover 50 to 80% of the cost of individual therapy with licensed professionals. Your health insurance will cover hypnotherapy on a case-by-case basis, if it is deemed  medically necessary for any acute or chronic pain, or if it will help you get healthier by quitting smoking or losing weight. If you have a great plan that covers hypnotherapy, you might be able to get your sessions for the cost of a copay or a 10-50%  coinsurance, depending on the insurance company. 

Interested in trying out hypnotherapy? We don’t blame you: with such a high success rate, it certainly is very enticing. If your current health insurance plan does not cover it, and if you want to find one that does, EZ can help! Our agents work with the top-rated companies in the country and can compare available plans in your area in minutes. We will provide you with your own personal agent who will work hard to find an affordable plan that covers hypnotherapy, so you can get the help you need. Our services are free, and come with no hassle or obligation. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak with a local agent, call 888-350-1890.

Health Insurance Coverage After Policy Owner Passes

When a loved one passes away, the last thing on your mind is your health insurance plan. But once you are ready to look into it, you might find that, unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information about what to do with your plan after someone passes away. You should know that the death of either the policy owner or a dependent will affect your health plan. The plan might no longer meet your needs or could be too expensive for you to afford on your own; it could even be cancelled due to non-payment if you cannot afford it. 

a stopwatch with the number 60 in red in front of it
When a policy owner passes, you have a 60 day special enrollment period to enroll in a new plan or change plans.

You do have the opportunity to change your plan, though: the death of the policy holder (or a dependent) is considered a Qualifying Life Event and will open up a Special Enrollment Period for you. This means that you will not have to worry about the affordability of your plan or about losing your health insurance coverage amid the tragedy. It is important to know all of your options so you can make the best decision about your healthcare plan. 

What Is a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)?

In most cases, you can only change your health insurance plan or purchase a new one during the Open Enrollment Period from November 1 through December 15. Outside of the OEP, you can no longer enroll or change your plan unless you experience a life event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. If you do experience a qualifying life event, you will have 60 days from the event to enroll in a plan. If you miss the 60 day window, you will have to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period.

Death Of A Policy Owner/Spouse

Having health insurance is important for you and your family, and it does not have to end with the unfortunate loss of your spouse. If you were on your spouse’s individual health insurance (NOT an employer-based plan), you can keep your policy even after the passing of your spouse. But if the plan is too expensive and you do not qualify for any subsidies, you can shop around for a new plan. The death of your spouse qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period, so you will be able to shop for a new plan, or change your existing coverage. You will have 60 days after the death to purchase a plan. 

COBRA InsuranceCOBRA written on a piece of paper with a pen next to it

If your spouse passes away, and you were on their employer-based plan, you can  look into COBRA insurance through your spouse’s employer. With COBRA health insurance, you can keep the plan you had through your spouse’s employer for 36 months. One thing to be aware of is that you will need to pay 100% of the plan’s premiums, plus a 2% administrative fee. This means that you will be paying more for the same coverage, because your spouse’s employer will no longer pay a portion of the monthly premium.

Remember, you do not have to stay on your late spouse’s employer-based insurance plan. It is just an option to continue coverage, if need be. You can also decide to shop for a new plan on the Marketplace or through a private insurer. 

Death Of A Dependent

The death of a dependent also qualifies your family for a Special Enrollment Period, as long as the dependent was on your health insurance plan. This applies even if your dependent did not contribute any income to your household. As with any qualifying life event, you will have 60 days to enroll in or change your health insurance plan after the death.

white casket in a church with red roses placed over it

 Losing a loved one is a tragic time that brings up not only a lot of emotions, but also a lot of questions. One of the questions you might have after dealing with the grief is what will happen to your health insurance coverage. Fortunately, you will have the opportunity to find a plan that meets your family’s needs during the 60-day Special Enrollment Period window. 

EZ.Insure cares about you and wants to make the process of staying insured as easy as possible for you during this tough time. One of our licensed agents will compare plans within your area, and review all available options to find the best and most affordable plan for your family. You will not have to worry about health insurance because we will guide you and help you to figure it all out. Our services are always free, because we just want to help you. To get started, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to an agent, call 888-350-1890.