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Monday, July 30, 2012

Limits of the Utah Approach

The Salt Lake Tribune reports on the limits of new Utah legislation, using ASD student Logan Hilton as a peg:
Utah’s two-year autism treatment pilot, which launched this year, is intended to help kids like Logan. His mom works for the Department of Corrections, and as the child of a public employee, he can now receive up to $30,000 worth of behavioral treatment each year.
The problem is that families covered by the Public Employees Health Program still need to contribute $6,000 annually to take advantage of the maximum state benefit.
"I’m grateful for it, but at the same time it’s not enough," said his mom, Michelle Hilton. "They haven’t made it affordable enough."
The Eagle Mountain mom believes more families would have participated if the requirements — paying 20 percent of the cost, and open only to children from age 2 to 6 — had been more flexible.
Only 25 children are signed up for the 50 autism pilot slots in the PEHP portion.
"I think because of that age limit we don’t capture all of the autistic kids in our population," said Toan Lam, the PEHP medical director.