Thursday, June 2, 2011

Support Bills in Albany, NY: Autism Health Insurance Bills. A6305/S4005.

These bills are currently making their way through various committees in Albany, NY. The sponsors of these bills need to hear from every family affected by Autism with words of thanks and call or connect via fax or e-mail their own representatives to become co-sponsors of these bills.

The assembly bill A6305 and its sister bill in the N.Y. State Senate S4005 relate to coverage for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. It will cover speech, occupational and physical therapies, which are specifically identified in the bill so there is no mystery. It will cover behavioral therapies including ABA. It will cover rehabilitative and habilitative care. It doesn’t force treatments for autism to meet a much higher standard for efficacy than other treatments; in fact. It applies the exact same efficacy standards that are used for all other health care. There is no lifetime or annual caps. There are no age limits. It will cover assistive technology, and psychological and psychiatric care. This is the kind of bill that can make a substantial improvement in the quality and quantity of care available to people with autism. And it will prevent families from going broke caring for their kids. This bill sets a new standard for autism health care that hopefully other states and the federal government will emulate once we get it passed here in NY.

As the legislative session is coming to a close, amendments have been proposed that significantly reduce the scope of the coverage offered in the autism health insurance reform bill currently moving, A6305/S4005. ST, OT and PT are limited to policies that already offer it, and existing limits on the number of sessions for those therapies will remain. Every one affected is urged to contact the sponsors noted below and ask that no amendments be allowed and that the bills are introduced and passed as written. Please contact:

Justin Wilcox In Morelle's office: 518 455 5647 (Assembly sponsor)
Tim Ellis in Fuschillo's office: 516 455 3341 (Senate sponsor)
Chris Hamm in Silver's office: 518 45 3791 (Assembly Speaker)

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