Is Speech Therapy Covered by OHIP?

A Comprehensive Guide about OHIP coverage from a Speech Language Pathologist.

As speech therapists, one of the most common questions we encounter is whether speech therapy services are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). This question is crucial for many families and individuals who require speech therapy but are concerned about the costs involved. In this blog post, we will explore the extent of OHIP coverage for speech therapy, alternative funding options, and what this means for you or your loved ones seeking speech therapy services in Ontario.

Looking for Speech Therapy in Ontario?

Understanding OHIP Coverage

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) provides a wide range of health services to Ontario residents. However, it’s important to understand the specifics of what is covered and what is not, especially when it comes to specialized services like speech therapy. For details on what OHIP generally covers, visit the OHIP Coverage Page.

The short answer is: No, speech therapy is usually not covered by OHIP. There are however many caveats to this, which we discuss in detail below. You might be surprised!

Speech Therapy Services: What's Covered by OHIP?

OHIP covers some speech therapy services, but this coverage is subject to certain conditions and limitations. As of my latest knowledge:

  • For Children and Youth: OHIP covers speech therapy services for individuals under 19 years of age, but these services are typically accessed through publicly funded programs like school-based support or community health centers.
  • Hospital-Based Services: If speech therapy is part of a hospital’s outpatient services, it may be covered by OHIP. This usually applies when speech therapy is required due to medical procedures, accidents, or certain medical conditions.
  • Adult Coverage: Adult speech therapy coverage under OHIP is more limited. It’s typically available only in specific circumstances, such as after a stroke or other medical events requiring rehabilitative therapy.

Limitations and Exceptions

It’s important to note that OHIP does not cover speech therapy services provided by private clinics or private speech therapists. This means that if you choose to seek services outside of the public system, you will likely need to pay out-of-pocket or have private insurance coverage.

Understanding OHIP Coverage

Understanding that OHIP coverage for speech therapy has its limitations, let’s explore the options available for those seeking speech therapy services in Ontario.

Publicly Funded Programs

For children, school-based programs and community health centers are often the first point of contact. These services are funded by the government and are available at no cost to the family. However, it’s important to be aware of potential wait times and eligibility criteria.

For more information on publicly funded programs for speech therapy in Ontario, visit the Ontario Health and Wellness page.

Private Speech Therapy

For those who require more immediate assistance or specialized services not covered by OHIP, private speech therapy is an option. While this comes at a cost, many private health insurance plans offer some degree of coverage for speech therapy services. It’s advisable to check with your insurance provider for details.

Community and Non-Profit Organizations

There are also community-based organizations and non-profits that offer speech therapy services, sometimes on a sliding scale based on income. These can be a valuable resource for those who don’t qualify for publicly funded programs and cannot afford private therapy.

Understanding OHIP Coverage

Understanding that the cost can be a barrier, there are alternative funding sources and support programs available:

  • Assistive Devices Program (ADP): This program helps cover the costs of specialized equipment, including communication aids for those who qualify. Learn more at the Assistive Devices Program Page.
  • Special Services at Home (SSAH): For families with children who have developmental or physical disabilities, SSAH can provide funding for a range of services, including speech therapy.
  • Insurance Coverage: Some private health insurance plans cover speech therapy. Coverage varies, so it’s crucial to check your policy details.
  • Tax Deductions and Credits: Speech therapy expenses can sometimes be claimed as medical expenses on your tax return, providing some financial relief.

Navigating the System: Tips from a Speech Therapist

As a speech therapist, I understand that navigating the healthcare system and finding the right services can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you through the process:

  • Start with an Assessment: A professional assessment by a speech therapist is crucial to understand your or your child’s specific needs.
  • Explore All Options: Consider both public and private options, and don’t hesitate to ask about alternative funding sources.
  • Advocate for Your Needs: Whether it’s seeking services through the public system or negotiating with insurance providers, advocacy is key.
  • Stay Informed: Healthcare policies and coverages can change. Stay updated on the latest information regarding OHIP coverage and speech therapy services.


While OHIP provides limited coverage for speech therapy services, there are several paths to accessing these essential services in Ontario. Whether through public programs, private therapy, or alternative funding sources, it’s possible to find the support you need. Remember, as a speech therapist, my goal is to help you navigate these options and find the best path for effective speech therapy.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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