Insurers have attempted to characterize ABA as an educational service and therefore not a covered benefit. But ABA is a medical intervention that has been demonstrated to change brain activity and improve cognitive function, speech and language, and social interactions. Numerous health care organizations and scientists, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institutes of Mental Health, have established that ABA is the single most effective medical intervention for the treatment of autism.
The California Health Benefits Review Board estimates that if this legislation is passed, health insurance premiums would increase by at most 0.27 percent. This is a de minim's amount to pay to provide children with therapy that cannot only markedly improve their quality of life but also provide a long-term savings in excess of $1 million per child for future treatment and services.
The board also estimates $146 million in cost savings to current payers of autism spectrum disorder-related services, which are primarily school distrgoicts and the state Department of Developmental Services.
An email from the Autism Society of Los Angeles:
URGENT ACTION NEEDED:
CALL GOVERNOR BROWN
AND TELL HIM TO
SIGN SB 946 - THE AUTISM INSURANCE BILL
Call now to counter the intense pressure
from the insurance industry telling him to veto the bill
Pick up the phone now and call:
Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish
Press 2 to leave a message with your opinion
Press 6 to speak to someone personally (you may be on hold for a couple of minutes.)
You can also email the Governor, but calls will have more leverage.
Email Governor Brown: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php
We are hearing that the Governor is not receiving enough calls from parents and others urging him to sign SB 946, the Autism Health Insurance Bill. The insurance industry is putting heavy pressure on Brown to veto the bill. PLEASE ACT NOW.
Your message can be brief:
- We urge Governor Brown to sign SB 946.
- Behavioral therapy is an essential health treatment for children with autism.
- The law would save the state up to $250 million per year -- something that is critical in this economy.
SB 946 requires health plans and insurers to cover behavioral health treatment, including applied behavior analysis (ABA) and other behavior intervention programs. The bill passed the California Assembly and Senate on September 9 and is now sitting on Governor Brown's desk.
We need to flood Governor Brown's office with calls this week. He must make a decision on whether to sign the bill by October 9.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO FRIENDS, FAMILY, CLIENTS, AND OTHER LISTS.
For any additional information, please contact Judy Mark, Government Relations Chair, at