Autism Speaks reports:
More than half of all children with autism are insured by Medicaid. Some states insure children with autism through Home and Community-Based Services Waivers -- special programs that waive certain Medicaid rules so that people with great needs can be served in their communities rather than in institutions.
Maryland has a Medicaid waiver for children with autism. The Maryland waiver provides respite care, environmental accessibility adaptations, family training, and other unique services, in addition to more common Medicaid services such as physician and hospital care.
The number of children who can be served by the Maryland autism waiver is capped at 900. Almost 4,000 children are on a waiting list for services. The Maryland legislature is now considering whether to increase the number of waiver slots so that more children can be served. The parents of three children on the waiting list report on their visit to the state capital in Annapolis to testify before the legislature for additional slots.From one of the parents:
- I noted that Rory has been on the autism waiver wait list for five years, and she is only #1,633 out of 3,900 names. There was an audible gasp in the committee room. And that gasp startled me. What’s more shocking? That Rory is only at number 1,633 on the list after all these years? Or, that I am surprised that this surprises other people?