Friday, October 30, 2009
Call To Action in the Senate!
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Know your Senator but need his/her contact info? Click here:LIST OF SENATORS WITH CONTACT INFO.
Dear Senator _____,
While other bills up for debate are important and worthy of your attention, I think you will find that those covering autism treatments can be distinguished from the rest. Individuals with autism are the only group completely excluded from coverage by most insurance policies. In most policies, there is no coverage, not even for the most evidence-based treatments.
Please consider the following facts:
1. Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate, learn and relate to others.
2. Regardless of policy language, insurers reject almost all claims for autism diagnosis and treatment, forcing many children to forego treatment.
3. Michigan spent nearly $100 million, on salaries alone, during the school year 2006-07 educating students with ASD (Dr. Koenigsnecht, 2009)
4. A recent Texas study determined the state could save up to $771.5 million in special education costs within the first 10 years after passing an autism insurance coverage law.
5. A cost analysis of MI's proposed insurance legislation, conducted in 2009, estimated a rate increase of about .7% (James Bouder Study).
6. 15 states have passed similar legislation and 31 states have either introduced legislation or have autism insurance reform bills pending.
7.Michigan ranks 13th in the prevalence of autism (US Dept. of Education), autism increased 1098% in the state between 1990 - 2000 (ages 6 - 21, IDEA data)
8. A majority of children, 87%, who receive appropriate intervention and treatment experience marked improvement - 47% recover "typical" function and 40% make significant improvement.
Please consider the facts and help stop the discrimination of our most vulnerable population. HB 4476 and HB 4183, requiring insurance coverage for autism screening, diagnosis and treatment, passed the House in June and are now in the Senate. The autism epidemic will have serious, long term costs for the state and society, unless we address the treatment needs of these children immediately. Most of all, this is having a devastating effect on Michigan's families.
AIM Position Statement
2) all people with ASD should be covered, regardless of age.
3) Autism Spectrum Disorder is defined as any of the pervasive developmental disorders as defined by the most recent edition of the DSM.
4) this coverage should include treatments as prescribed or ordered by the insured's treating physician or psychologist and that no insurer may deny coverage for an individual based solely on the fact that the individual is diagnosed with an ASD.
5) covered treatments shall not be subject to visit limits.
6) there should be a provision for an expedited arbitration process if an insurance company denies coverage or changes coverage status.
7) coverage should not be construed as limiting access to benefits or other services that are otherwise available to an individual.
List of Supporting Organizations as of 4/23/10
Ann Arbor Families for Autistic Children's Education and Support
Autism Advisory Group
Autism Insurance in Michigan (AIM)
Autism Resource Network
Autism Society of America
Autism Society of America - Oakland County Chapter
Autism Society of Washtenaw County
Autism Society of WestShore
Autism SpeaksAutism Alliance of Michigan
Behavior Analysts Association of Michigan
Detroit Medical Center
Elder Disability Rights Association Section of the State Bar of Michigan
Family Chiropractic Clinic
First Capital Directories
Fravel Financial Services
GFWC Madison Heights Intermediate Womens Club
Glenn Buege Chevrolet
Henry Ford Health System
Kaufman Children's Center for Speech, Language, Sensory-Motor & Social Connections, Inc.
Michael James Associates
Michigan Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals
Michigan Association of IntermediateSchool Administrators
Michigan Association of School Administrators
Michigan Association of School Boards
Michigan Association of School Psychologists
Michigan Association of School Social Workers
Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health
Michigan Nurses Association
Michigan Pharmacists Association
Michigan Secondary School Principals Association
Michigan Speech Language Hearing Association
Middle Cities Education Association
Monroe IntermediateSchool District
National Alliance on Mental Illness - Michigan Chapter (member of Partners for Parity)
National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Detroit Section
The Abilities Center
The Ann Arbor Center for Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District