Friday, October 30, 2009

Call To Action in the Senate!

Please contact your Senator via letters, phone calls or emails; even if you have written previously, and do it as soon as possible. Our insurance bills passed the House in June, now we need to face the Senate. Letter writing is the best way (but calls and emails work too) to let your Senator know that you want their support for autism insurance legislation, House Bills 4476 & 4183. You can use the template below, but please use your own words and personalize it. See below also for senator names and all contact info.
Don't know who your Senator is? Click here:FIND YOUR SENATOR
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.


Phone Number


AIM is comprised of over 3000 residents of Michigan who have pledged their support in passing the autism insurance legislation in Michigan. The sole aim of AIM is to pass autism insurance legislation in Michigan with the help of those 3000+ members.

AIM Position Statement

It is our position that
1) legislation should be passed in the state of Michigan that will require insurance companies to cover diagnosis, treatment, and services for all people wiht Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
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

ACT Network

Ann Arbor Families for Autistic Children's Education and Support

Autism Advisory Group
Autism Alliance of Michigan
Autism ASK

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

Beaumont Hospitals

Behavior Analysts Association of Michigan

Detroit Medical Center
DTE Energy Company

Early InterventionCenter

Easter Seals

Elder Disability Rights Association Section of the State Bar of Michigan

Family Chiropractic Clinic

First Capital Directories

Forestview Lanes

Fravel Financial Services

GFWC Madison Heights Intermediate Womens Club

Glenn Buege Chevrolet

Henry Ford Health System

HOPE Network
Image One Corporation

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 PTA

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
Rehmann CPAs Troy, MI

The Abilities Center

The Ann Arbor Center for Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
The Children's Center of Wayne County

Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District
Wayne County

If your organization is not on this list and you would like to show your support, please email your organization name and your contact information for verification to Thank you!

Jim Bouder's Testimony 6/9/09

Espinozas' Testimony 6/9/09