Oregon has the nation’s second highest incidence of Autism!
29 Other States (Shaded in Green) have passed Autism Health Insurance Reform:
(Image by Autism Speaks: http://www.autismvotes.org)
Now It’s Oregon’s Turn!
Autism is a medical and behavioral health condition that now affects 1 in 110 children nationally, with even higher rates in Oregon; the incidence has risen dramatically in the past 20 years.
There are more than 8,000 school-age children receiving special education services for autism for Oregon – with 600 more children diagnosed every year. Decades of medical research have clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of many therapies in improving the health outcomes and ability to function of individuals with autism. With effective treatment, half of these children – 300 – would be able to enter school without need for special education, and another third would make substantial gains and need fewer services.
Most insurance companies in Oregon sharply limit coverage for autism – limiting speech and occupational therapy to a minimal number of visits without regard to the patient’s actual need, and refusing coverage for intensive therapies like Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) outright. As a result, many individuals with autism are compelled by lack of coverage to do without the medical and behavioral healthcare that could dramatically improve their health outcomes and ability to function independently.
Nationally, 29 other states have now enacted laws requiring insurance companies to pay for medically necessary, evidence-based treatment for autism.
Now it’s Oregon’s turn.
- We’re asking our legislators to adopt a comprehensive Autism Health Insurance Reform bill in the 2012 legislative session. Click on the Legislation for 2012 tab for details.
- We’re working to enforce the laws that we already have, to get our insurers to pay for medically necessary treatment for autism. Recent successes with Kaiser and PacificSource have opened the door for coverage of intensive treatments like Applied Behavior Analysis. Click on the Enforcement tab for information about how to file an appeal.
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