Thursday, June 28, 2012

Affordable Care Act upheld. What does that mean for Utah?

Today the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in a ruling of 5 to 4.  What does this decision mean for autism insurance coverage in Utah?

Lawmakers in Utah have indicated plans to file a certificate of exemption, which would allow Utah to define our own ‘essential benefits package’.  If we want evidence-based treatments for autism included in this ‘essential benefits package’ we must act NOW!  All it takes is 3 minutes of your time, right now. If you have already submitted your comments, please encourage your friends and family to comment as well.

Copy and paste the following letter into your email and send it to  Make sure to include your own comments and personal story. Post done below so we know who to thank. Together we WILL get autism insurance coverage in Utah!

Dear Utah Health System Task Force:

I am writing to ask you to please include evidence-based treatment for autism in the essential benefits package for Utah. Currently, Utah leads the nation in autism prevalence rates with 1 in every 47 children having some form of autism spectrum disorder. With treatment, 47% of children with autism can achieve normal intellectual functioning as opposed to just 2% of children who are left untreated. With treatment, 80-90% of children receiving evidence-based treatment show significant improvement of their autism symptoms.

[Insert personal experience here, if desired.]

Including evidence based treatment for autism in the essential benefits package is relatively inexpensive - just $0.44 - $0.83 per member per month. The average cost of caring for an untreated individual with autism over their life span is as much as $3 million dollars - most of which will be incurred in the later part of their lives. Providing coverage to treat autism in the early years of a person's life can save millions of dollars and result in independent adults that are able to contribute to the society in which they live rather than rely on others for their livelihood and well-being.

Currently there are 31 states with legislation requiring coverage for the treatment of autism. Aside from the basic humanity of caring for the children in Utah affected by autism, the state of Utah has an obligation to protect tax-payers from the expense of a large population of untreated individuals with autism. As a concerned Utah resident, I urge you to include evidence-based treatment for autism including behavioral health treatment, pharmaceutical care, psychiatric care, psychological care, therapeutic care (including occupational and speech therapy) and medical care.


Jane Freeman [Insert your name]
121 Freedom Way [Insert your address]
Treatment Town, UT 84123 [Insert your city, state, zip]