Support for HB284 , Requiring Insurance Coverage for Therapy for Autism
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I am the mother of an autistic child. My son was diagnosed fairly early so we began intervention at two. I left my career in finance in order to get him to therapy and provide him with more support at home. We have insurance that provides for ABA therapy, that which has been proven to help many with autism grow into healthy, self-sustainable adults. But it didn't take me long to find out how lucky my family is. I have dedicated my time to my children, my family, and child advocacy because through this journey I have seen so many others without access to the therapy that is a necessity for individuals on the autism spectrum. HB 284 was introduced to the State House by Rep. Jim Patterson. It's passing would mean the beginning of better treatment for and acceptance of those on the spectrum.
Health Insurance Coverage for Autism in Alabama
HB 284 by Rep. Jim Patterson
Autism affects 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is the most commonly prescribed, evidence-based treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder and is endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General, American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Alabama is one of only five states in the country that does not require insurance coverage for effective, medically-necessary treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as ABA.
Why is autism insurance reform needed in Alabama? Without appropriate treatment, the societal cost over the lifetime of an individual with autism is an average of $3.2 million per person (Ganz, 2007). The estimated lifetime cost savings of providing appropriate treatment is $1 million per child (Jacobson, 1998)
Proposed Legislation Requires insurance coverage for medically-necessary treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Includes coverage for all fully-insured private market plans (individual, small and large group plans), and includes State Employees Health Insurance Plan (SEIB) and Public Education Employees Insurance Plan (PEEHIP).
ABA Therapy Providers in Alabama
There are currently 181 Nationally Board Certified Behavior Analysts in Alabama.
Cost of providing meaningful coverage for the treatment of autism in other states
Forty five (45) states have enacted legislation that requires meaningful coverage or autism, including ABA. Available claims data from these states shows the average cost of coverage is less than 50 cents per member per month. After 6 years of implementation of their autism insurance law, the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration has concluded that because autism-related costs “represent just over two-tenths of one percent of overall claim costs means this law continues to have little appreciable impact on insurance premiums.”
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