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Monday, July 12, 2010

"Nick's Law" Family Leaving OK

An editorial in The Tulsa World:
The family that led efforts to force Oklahoma insurance companies to cover autism is leaving the state.

The emotional and financial toll of raising an autistic son without insurance coverage forced Wayne and Robyne Rohde to take their children to Minnesota, where they will be able to get insurance that covers treatment for their 12-year-old son Nick.

For years, the Rohdes have led families lobbying the Legislature for autism coverage mandates. They scored a partial victory this year when the Legislature agreed to a bill that requires insurance companies to cover the same illnesses for autistic children as they do for children without the condition. Previously, families reported that their autistic children were unable to get insurance coverage for things like asthma in their autistic children.

But the parity bill fell far short of the need for the families. Wayne Rohde said the family's cost of analysts, tutors, therapists and medications for their son is nearly $40,000 a year.

Here's a key point about the Rohdes and other families like them: They didn't want a free ride. They wanted to pay their own way in the same fashion that millions of other American families deal with health costs — through insurance.

But the insurance companies simply refused to cover them.
Earlier posts here and here.