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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ohio Mandate Bill

An insurance mandate bill is on Ohio Governor John Kasich's desk.  (If you look up Ohio House Bill 463 and see that it seems to be about foreclosures, you have not made a mistake.  The Legislature added autism provisions)

From Ohio State Representative Cheryl Grossman:
State Representative Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) applauded the recent passage of House Bill 463, legislation that includes provisions that require private insurers to provide coverage for autism spectrum disorder. House Bill 463 also expedites the foreclosure process for vacant and abandoned homes, working to reduce the amount of blighted properties throughout the state.

The section of the bill regarding autism coverage originated from House Bill 350, which Rep. Grossman sponsored. The language was amended into House Bill 463 during the legislation process. Under the provisions, any health insurance plan is required to provide coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism for individuals up to the age of 14. Coverage cannot be terminated as a result of such a diagnosis.

“Thousands of Ohio families will benefit from autism insurance coverage now being provided for children in the autism spectrum,” said Rep. Grossman. “I am grateful for the strong support that was received in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate for this important legislation, as well as the countless individuals who have advocated for the past eight years to make this a reality. This was a very special Christmas present for so many children and their families.”

Rep. Grossman was also recently named as the 2016 Autism Speaks National Legislator of the Year for her tireless advocacy work in the Ohio House and within her community.
House Bill 463 will now be under consideration by Governor Kasich.
(Because of term limits, Rep. Grossman will not be in office next year.)

Nathan Baca reports at WBNS-10TV:
"It gives families access to therapies that can really, really help their children. We've seen such an improvement in Michael - from ABA," said Doug Beebe, father of 5-year-old Michael. "Not everyone has the same resources. I think a lot of kids have been going without."

"The term that I heard was - 'you're excluded.' And that's tough to hear," Doreena Beebe recalled.

Autism insurance coverage took years or parental activism and two different legislative bills. The successful bill was spearheaded by Representative Cheryl Grossman of Grove City.
"What I would really encourage families now, is get your child tested. Because now there are resources," said Marcy Ingram. Her son is on the autism spectrum.