The states that will begin requiring certain state-regulated health insurance plans to cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder effective January 1, 2011 include:
Some state autism insurance reform laws actually became effective earlier in 2010, but because the majority of health plans operate on a calendar year basis, the true impact of these laws will occur when the new plan years turn over on January 1, 2011. These states include:
In addition, Vermont’s autism insurance reform legislation will become effective July 1, 2011.
OzarksFirst.com describes a positive reaction from parents, but with caveats:
A number of Missouri children are now eligible for insurance coverage of their autism therapies.
That's because a new Missouri law requires insurers to cover $40,000 a year of applied behavioral analysis for children through age 18.
This new mandate only covers those receiving health insurance from small to medium-sized employers.
Parents say this is a step in the right direction, but there are still many more steps to take to help all children with the disorder in Missouri.
Kaia Fields is a stay-at-home mom. As if raising two boys wasn't hard enough, she has an added challenge.
Her youngest, 3-year-old Quentin, suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has never spoken a word...
"Of course it is all dependent on codes -- what codes you get from the provider -- and then you have to get everything pre-authorized before you do anything to make sure they are going to cover it," says Fields.
Then there are parents like Dawn Rethman. Her 14-year-old son suffers from autism. But since her husband works for a large Springfield employer that's exempt, her son won't get coverage.
"I think because my child is a teenager now, some of the pressure of the early intervention has been taken off of me," she says. "But if I was a parent of a child 2 or 3 and wasn't receiving early intervention, I would be very angry and very frustrated."