Thursday, February 28, 2013

Update on SB55

SB55 was substituted this morning with a bill that appropriates more money to the pilot program created last year and increases the age cap from age 5 to age 7. Insurance coverage for autism in Utah will not happen this year.

Thank you all for your advocacy and please thank Senator Shiozawa for his incredibly hard work on this initiative. He is dedicated to working on insurance coverage for autism again next year and has done a tremendous job advocating for our children.

Mirella Petersen
President, Utah Autism Coalition


  1. I am so sad about this.

  2. When are people in this state ever going to wake up?! Most other states provide insurance coverage for children with Autism. This makes me ashamed for Utah! We can't seem to do the right thing for our children--not in the public schools, and not for those with Autism. I am a retired Special Education teacher who has a grandchild with Autism. I also taught several students with Autism. I see how these families suffer, and I also see that the great state of Utah does very little for them. My grandson is in a special school for children with Autism, at great financial sacrifice. (They gave up on the public schools.) How very frustrating it is to live in a state that seems to ignore the huge struggle children with Autism and their families endure every single day. I just read an article in the paper which said that Diedre Henderson (R-Spanish Fork) and David Hinkins (R-Orangeville) voted against SB55. Take this into consideration, folks, when these people are up for election again.

  3. I am grateful for your efforts on Autism Insurance Coverage (Senate bill 55). Hopefully we will have this someday.

    I wanted to make sure you knew about a recent CNN story on the subject.

    The information may be helpful you to when the subject comes up again.

    According to the article very few states don't provide this service. Utah should not lag in helping our children:
    "Georgia is one of 18 states that do not require insurers to pay for autism treatment"

    The impact on 15 of the states that have passed this legislation has been studied:
    " Among all 15 of those states, the annual impact on premiums ranged from $1.20 in Illinois to $9.96 in Minnesota."

    "The states that have had this for a while, like Texas and South Carolina and Indiana -- no one is losing their health insurance," she says. "The sky hasn't fallen. What we do know is that families are accessing care for the first time."
    State Sen. John Albers, a Republican who sponsored the Georgia Senate version of Ava's Law, calls it "the right thing to do," but also believes it could save the state a lot of money.

    Best wishes.
    Chance Williams