Hi ladies/bees, please help me make a decision...

I have posted about LO's issues with speech for many times. He just turned 2 last month. I've been worried about his speech since he was young, but recently he made a lot of progress.

He does have 150+ words, doing 2 words association (not yet sentence). But he is having issues in terms of being able to pronounce words (again, I really do not know how to gauge. I am just looking at what other toddlers are doing at his age, so far most of his friends speaks clearly, and some speaks in sentences, but LO can not). He can not say "s", "tr", "v", "f" to name a few. For example, he can not say my cat's name "Mooshi" (He goes "thhiiiii"), and he call his friend David as "dadid". He use "d" or "th" to replace s, tr, v, f...etc. So strangers won't understand half of what he says. I don't even understand what he says a lot of times.

Seeing my concern, our pediatrician did refer us to see a speech therapist. After talking to the insurance multiple times, I realize developmental-related speech therapy is NOT covered (It has to be caused by medical illness, surgery, or autism spectrum in order to be covered). It wouldn't even be counted toward our out-of-pocket maximum. I just asked the specialist, they said evaluation alone will be $800-1200. They can't quote me on the price for treatment because it varies.

I was also in touch with the early intervention program. I was informed that only the evaluation is free. Ongoing treatment is NOT free. And we won't be eligible anyway because we are not severely delayed (and why do we need to be "eligible" when it is not free anyway?). So in a way, I got cold feet. And for some reason they still haven't called me back for an evaluation appointment (I just called to follow up).

A friend (with 3 older children) also briefly mentioned that her sons have similar problems and they went to speech therapy, and she was told that the "s" (called lisp) will self correct by age 5, and they will be concerned if it hasn't been corrected by then.

So, what would you do? Would you say I should wait and see? Or should I go ahead?