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Friday, November 8, 2013

Ava's Law and the Limits of the Affordable Care Act

Insurance companies in Georgia are not required to cover treatments for autism.

However other states, including South Carolina mandates that their insurance companies cover autism treatments. The Affordable Care Act goes into effect January 2014, but it doesn't make any concrete changes to insurance coverage. District 122 representative Ben Harbin: " Ava's Law is a bill that I drew up this past year, to try to get the coverage that those families to get the ABA applied behavioral coverage to help their children."

...Dr. Carolina DiBattisto, Developmental Pediatrician, Children's Hospital of Georgia: " there are a lot of treatment strategies that make a huge difference in children's lives. the best most scientifically proven therapies are behavioral intervention, so applied behavioral analysis therapy. also speech therapy [and] occupational therapy."

Ben Harbin: "it's been proven to help them gain those skills those social skills all of those skills that allow them to lead a more productive life, and it works if you just get to children early."

Representative Harbin did the calculations and says autism insurance reform makes economic sense for the state of Georgia, " its about 32 cents to 33 cents a month that's what we've estimated it would cost. there have been some estimates that say it's a little more.....This is not just a fiscal issue, this is about a quality of life issue. Anyone affected by autism or seen a family affected by autism, they understand the importance of this."