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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Insurance and Autism

After my sons transitioned from Early Intervention to CPSE - Committee on Preschool Education, I became aware that some services would no longer be covered for my autistic son. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not recognize autism as a disability or disorder that requires treatment. This news was very disheartening. Not only was I angry, but with staggering statistics that 1 in 88 children are diagnosed on the spectrum, I could not imagine that this was true until I needed to get braces for my child's feet. As I reviewed our insurance policy, it actually stated specific services "related to" autism were not covered. The belief is that there is not enough evidence to validate that these services - physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, counseling, applied behavior analysis, floor time therapy, orthotics - help an autistic child. I had heard that there was an issue with coverage, but until now I had never encountered it. The good news is that recent legislation regarding the Affordable Care Act has changed to recognize the need for these services.

Here is an excerpt from an article posted on www.specialneedsalliance.com
"Supreme Court Healthcare Decision    By Morris Klein, CELA
The recent Supreme Court decision upholding most of the Affordable Care Act is an enormous victory for individuals with disabilities and their families.
Private health insurance policies will now be required to better meet their needs due to:
• elimination of caps on lifetime coverage;
• required coverage of pre-existing conditions without charging premium rates;
• mandatory provision of “essential benefits,” such as mental health services; speech, occupational and physical therapy for individuals born with disabilities; and ABA(Applied Behavior Analysis),a popular treatment for autism."

You can view the entire article at:
http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2010/11/affordable-care-act-americans-disabilities.html#choices

Here are wonderful references covering many topics related to autism from birth to adulthood.......

"The Essential Guide to Autism" by Rachel Evans

"The Parent's Guide to Autism by Dave Angel"




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