Monday, June 18, 2012

Without insurance for autism, Utah families leave state

Without insurance for autism, Utah families leave state:

Something very real and tragic is happening to Utah families forcing them into some very difficult decisions. SelectHealth is behind the times in their statement that they will not willingly cover treatment for autism because it's plans "are intended to cover medical needs, rather than to modify behavior or achieve educational objectives"

Given the recent advisement from the federal advisory board on the issue, it seems that they should be adjusting their policy on autism treatment: “The OPM Benefit Review Panel recently evaluated the status of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for children with autism. Previously, ABA was considered to be an educational intervention and not covered under the FEHB Program. The Panel concluded that there is now sufficient evidence to categorize ABA as medical therapy. Accordingly, plans may propose benefit packages which include ABA.”

From Brian Eliason, father of a child with autism: "It was hard enough to discover that he had autism, but then it was just an added burden to know we didn’t have a way to financially take care of him unless we left the state."

Is this how Utah legislators and residents want to treat families of children with autism? Are we a family friendly state as long as your child doesn't have special needs or medical conditions we don't want to cover? This is not how I want my state represented, how about you?