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

Autism Health Insurance Reform: SB365 Unanimously approved in Ways and Means – on to final floor votes!

Contents:

  • Update on SB365 – Unanimously approved in Ways and Means – on to final House and Senate floor votes!
  • Update on SB414 – Unanimously approved in House Rules – also on to a final House floor vote!
  • ACTION ALERT:  Ask your legislators to support SB365 ONE LAST TIME!

Update on SB365 – Unanimously approved in Ways and Means – on to final House and Senate floor votes!

This afternoon, the full Joint Committee On Ways and Means voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve SB365, the Autism Health Insurance Reform bill!

From here, the final steps are votes on the House and Senate floors, and then signature by the Governor!

The legislature is expected to wrap up its’ session for the year by early next week, so things will come to a close very quickly.  While we’re very confident, we want to make sure we all ask our legislators ONE LAST TIME to support this important bill – see the action alert below for ideas.

Update on SB414 – Unanimously approved in House Rules – also on to a final House floor vote!

SB414 – our insurance restitution bill – was also approved unanimously in the House Rules committee today.  SB414 will give the Insurance Division the authority to order restitution or equitable relief if an insurance company violates state or federal law, or the terms of its’ contract.  Currently, the Insurance Division can issue a fine (payable to the state treasury) – but has no authority to order compensation directly to a consumer.  While we would have loved to see even stronger legislation (like HB3160 – to remove the insurance industry’s exemption from Oregon’s anti-fraud laws), SB414 is a great start.

Since that bill has already been approved by the full Senate (on a 19 to 10 vote), it now goes to a final vote on the House floor – and then to the Governor.

We’re very confident of success – since the leadership of both parties joined in the unanimous vote in the House Rules committee, and the Insurance Commissioner joined me in giving very supportive testimony in the House and Senate committee hearings.

ACTION ALERT:  Ask your legislators to support SB365 ONE LAST TIME!

Please contact your State Representative and State Senator to let them know that SB365, the Autism Health Insurance Reform bill is coming for a final vote – and to ask them for their support.  Even if you’ve contacted them before this session, it’s important for them to hear from you again, now that it’s up for a final vote!

I have included a sample e-mail message at bottom – but please personalize the message as much as possible, to show the impact that this issue has on you.

Autism Speaks has also set up a simple, easy-to-use web form – you can use it to send personalized messages to your own legislators really quickly.  You can use it at:  http://www.autismspeaks.org/advocacy/action/oregon-urge-your-lawmakers-vote-yes-autism-insurance-reform

Let’s get SB365 passed this year!

——–

Thanks for your help!

 

Paul Terdal

 

Sample E-mail Message in support of SB365 – Autism Health Insurance Reform:

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

To:

Your own State Representative and State Senator.  You can find their e-mail addresses at:  http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

Subject:

Please support SB365 – Autism Health Insurance Reform

Body:

Dear Representative / Senator (insert your legislator’s name here):

Please support SB365 – the Autism Health Insurance Reform bill.

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 nearly 9,000 Oregon schoolchildren receiving special education services for autism.  Autism is characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors; many severely impacted individuals suffer lifelong disability, especially when the condition is untreated.

While Oregon law already requires insurance coverage for treatment of autism, SB365 establishes requirements for insurer approval and management of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – a leading autism treatment recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General, National Institute of Mental Health, American Psychological Association, and many other professional associations.  It also establishes a Behavior Analysis Regulatory Board to license and regulate providers who can deliver the national standard of care at an affordable cost.

[Insert your personal story here about why this legislation is important to you!]

SB365 received a unanimous do-pass recommendation in both the Senate Health Care and Human Services committee and the Joint Committee On Ways and Means.  Advocates from the autism community have worked closely with insurance industry representatives and government officials to develop this bill under the leadership of Sen. Bates.  Thirty-three other states have already enacted similar legislation.

Please join us in supporting this critical bill – so that every Oregonian with autism can access medically necessary care for this treatable condition.

Thank you for your support.

[add your name and physical mailing address]

 

This entry was posted in Call To Action, Legislative. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.