It's time for Medical Insurance Companies in Oregon to cover Autism Treatment

Autism Health Insurance Reform: Action Alert – ask your legislators to support Autism Health Insurance Reform in 2013

Action Alert:

  • Please ask your legislators to support Autism Health Insurance Reform in 2013
  • Come testify at a public hearing on Insurance on Wednesday 12/12/2012

Please ask your legislators to support Autism Health Insurance Reform in 2013

In February, the Oregon legislature will again consider Autism Health Insurance Reform legislation for 2013.  Existing laws (ORS 743A.168 and ORS 743A.190) already mandate autism coverage under some plans; the new law will mandate specific coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as a treatment for autism, and will apply that mandate across all state-regulated plans, including the Oregon Health Plan, Healthy Kids, and PEBB (for public employees) as well as commercial insurance.

Details about the proposed legislation can be found at:  http://autisminsuranceor.org/2013-legislation/

In addition, we have three other legislative concepts (known officially just as “LC912, LC913, and LC914”) to help strengthen consumers enforce the rights that we already have through external reviews, consumer complaints, and by banning discretionary clauses in insurance contracts (which allow an insurer to have the final say on interpreting their own contracts – a practice that the State of Oregon already considers to be unfair and deceptive).

You can find the e-mail and phone number for your legislators here:  http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/.  I have included a sample e-mail message at bottom.

Come testify at a public hearing on Insurance on Wednesday 12/12/2012

Sen. Chip Shields – a longtime friend to the autism community – has called a hearing on ways to improve the Insurance Industry. At least 45 minutes of the hearing will be devoted to public testimony – which makes this a great opportunity for anyone interested to come and tell your story.

The amount of time each person will be given to testify will depend on how many people sign up, but individuals should plan on three minutes to share their experience and give their ideas for improvement.

This will be a great chance to talk directly to the Senate committee overseeing the Insurance Industry about problems you have been having accessing insurance coverage for autism!

  • Day: Wednesday, December 12th
  • Time: Hearing 8-11am, public testimony 10-10:45am
  • Location: State Capitol, Hearing Room C
  • 900 Court St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301
  • Live broadcast: http://www.leg.state.or.us/listn/

If you want to tell your story, but can’t come in person, please write a short note (up to 1 page), and send it to me – I’ll ensure that it is submitted to the committee in writing.

Sincerely,

Paul Terdal,

Parent Volunteer

 

PS:  One way everyone can help is by making a donation to the Autism Society of Oregon to help cover our lobbying costs.  Click here to make a tax-deductible donation; you can designate your donation “In Honor Of” Insurance Reform, and 100% will be used in support of this initiative.

 

Sample E-mail Message:

[Please feel free to modify this, or insert details about your own story]

 

I’m writing to ask you to support Autism Health Insurance Reform during the 2013 legislative session.

Autism is a neurobiological condition that now affects 1 in 88 children nationally; the incidence has risen dramatically in the past 20 years – there are now more than 8,000 Oregon schoolchildren with autism, with 600 new cases 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.  Kaiser Permanente – Oregon’s largest insurer — has recently begun voluntarily providing coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy with no age, dollar or visit limits and no increases in premiums. ABA is a leading treatment for the core symptoms of autism.

We ask you to support Autism Health Insurance Reform – so everyone with health insurance will have access to coverage for this important treatment.  You can read the legislative framework – based on discussions between the Autism Community and representatives of the Insurance Industry, in a workgroup led by Sen. Bates – at:  http://autisminsuranceor.org/2013-legislation/

Representatives of the Autism Community have also developed three other legislative concepts (LC912, LC913, and LC914) to help strengthen consumers’ ability to enforce the rights that we already have through external reviews, consumer complaints, and by banning discretionary clauses in insurance contracts (which allow an insurer to have the final say on interpreting their own contracts – a practice that the State of Oregon already considers to be unfair and deceptive).

Please help us to introduce these critical bills in the 2013 legislative session.

 

Thank you for your support.

[add your name and physical mailing address]

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