Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Is evidence-based treatment for autism 'essential' for you?

Don't leave it to chance whether or not Utah lawmakers know treatment for autism is essential.
Submit your comments TODAY.
(Comment period closes 7/3/12)

Utah lawmakers are in the process of putting together their list of health benefits that are deemed essential for inclusion in the Utah health insurance exchange program. They are accepting public comments - and you can bet your bottom dollar the insurance carriers have weighed in heavily on this issue but where is the voice of the consumer?

You have until July 3rd, 2012 to provide your comments in writing to the Utah Health System Task Force. Please provide your comments indicating that evidence based treatment for autism is an essential benefit for you, your family and your community.

Please send your comments to

After you have sent your comments:
  • Post DONE
  • Share on FB
  • Urge your friends, family and neighbors participate

Thank you!
Below is a sample letter for you to use as a starting point. 
Be sure to modify it to your situation and insert your personal sentiments on the issue.


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]