Autism is treatable! All children who have autism should have affordable access to effective, medically necessary care for autism. DHS should act to ensure that both public health care programs and private insurance cover treatment for autism.
DHS has issued a proposal to change how Medical Assistance (MA) covers autism. Under the proposal, children who have autism would be routed into a 1915(i) waiver to access treatment, services and supports. Early intervention would be available only to children under the age of 7. Once children turn 7, children would have to access therapeutic treatment through their public school district. (To read the proposal and commentary on it, please go to www.autismlawcenter.com/blog.
The Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC, is strongly opposed to the age cap as well as to the idea that children should be limited to school based services. Medical Assistance is intended to provide coverage for treatment based on medical necessity. Recent court decisions have made it clear that this means that coverage must include treatment prescribed by a child's treating clinician.
The DHS proposal to limit early intervention to children under the age of 7 is bad policy. Limits to coverage should be based on functional need and medical necessity -- not on arbitrary distinctions.
Please join the Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC in petitioning the Minnesota Department of Human Services to ask them to revise their proposal. Medical Assistance coverge for children who have autism should be based on medical necessity and should include, at a minimum, coverage for evidence-based, clinically effective treatment.
Executive Director, Autsim Advocacy & Law Center, LLC
212 2nd St. SE, Ste. 220, Minneapolis, MN 55414