All you Utah Natives need to read this and get involved if you can! Right now we are battling our insurance company just to agree to cover an official diagnosis for Gavin. We’ve been through the ringer several times now. We set up appointments just to be told last minute by our insurance company that they aren’t covered. It is crucial for Gavin and the other 1 in 133 kids in Utah who suffer from Autism to have this passed. Please spread the word!
Last week, an autism insurance reform bill was introduced in the Utah State legislature. Senate Bill 43, “Clay’s Law” sponsored by State Senator Howard A. Stephenson (R-11) will require private healthcare policies to provide coverage of the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. Clay’s Law will cover early intensive behavioral therapies and other medically necessary, evidence-based treatments prescribed by an insured’s treating physician or psychologist.
There are currently eight states that have passed similar bills across the country, including five states during last year’s legislative season: Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Illinois. This is a hot topic in states nationwide and Utah should be proud to be a part of such an important movement!
We need your help to get support for Clay’s Law from your State Senator…
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
1. SEND AN EMAIL TO YOUR STATE SENATOR! Let them know that you support Clay’s Law (SB 43), that you need them to support Clay’s Law, and that passage of Clay’s Law would mean increased access to critical autism therapies and treatments for thousands of children in Utah. We’ve already written some of the letter for you. All you need to do is add in your own words (optional) and click send. It’s that easy!
2. STAY INFORMED ON CLAY’S LAW! Check out the Autism Votes website and sign up today to receive alerts and information pertaining to the autism insurance reform bills. Stay on top of the latest developments throughout the legislative season and get involved!
3. FORWARD THIS TO INFORMATION TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW! We need everyone’s help. If you know other people in Utah that would get involved on behalf of your child, forward them this email and ask them to sign up at www.autismvotes.org. This is the perfect answer for anyone who has ever told you, “If there is ever anything I can do to help just ask!” Send to extended family members - aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. Send to coworkers, neighbors, therapists, teachers and friends! We need all hands on deck!
Clay’s Law is not an insurance rider. It is an insurance mandate, or shall we say, update. Let us update our insurance policies to include an evidence-based, medically necessary and prescribed treatment for our kids with autism. SB – 43, Clay’s Law, will stop insurance discrimination. Did you know that if Gavin would have had a stroke instead of autism, speech therapy would be covered by our insurance? How is it so that autism is line item excluded by most insurance companies?
It’s important we get the facts straight. Earlier in the year 2007, The Council for Affordable Health Insurance, a research and advocacy association of insurance carriers released its annual report on state health insurance mandates, the report identified legislative mandates for autism benefits in 10 states. The report assessed the incremental cost of state mandated benefits for autism in these ten states AS LESS THAN ONE PERCENT.
The Council’s modest estimate of incremental premium costs is consistent with state government estimates across the country. All states whose legislation allows a maximum benefit that can be considered high – suggest than an average autism insurance coverage mandate will cost approximately $50 annually per policy holder. For only a modest effect on premium cost, this insurance reform holds the promise of significantly improving the lives of thousands of children – including my own.
A Harvard study done in 2007 estimated that society will pay $3 million to take care of an individual with autism over their lifetime. 1 in 133 kids in Utah has autism. 1 in 67 boys in Utah has autism. We should be more worried about what we’ll pay in taxes to take care of all these individuals rather than the negligible rise in insurance premiums.
Taking care of this problem up front will give thousands of children the chance to contribute to society and live fulfilling, fruitful lives.