The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) has pledged to take a more assertive role in federal autism policy, starting with the issue of assuring ABA coverage is included in all state health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Meeting Tuesday in Bethesda, MD, IACC members concluded that the IACC should accomplish more than its minimum charge of drafting an annual update to the Strategic Plan for Autism Research. It was decided that the committee should take an active role in advising the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about public policy affecting the autism community.
The IACC’s Services Subcommittee will meet soon to consider a draft letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius advising her on the ACA issue. Although required by the law, only half the states so far are including behavioral health treatment, including ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), in their essential health benefits packages. The committee members felt strongly that there was a unique and timely opportunity to address this issue and that the IACC had the expertise and charge to advise the HHS Secretary.