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Happy 2011!

The change of the calendar year marks another pivotal step forward in the effort to pass meaningful autism insurance reform nationwide, as several state autism insurance laws go into effect on January 1, 2011.

The states that will begin requiring certain state-regulated health insurance plans to cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder effective January 1, 2011 include:

Iowa

Kansas

Maine

Massachusetts

Missouri

Nevada

New Hampshire

Some state autism insurance reform laws actually became effective earlier in 2010, but because the majority of health plans operate on a calendar year basis, the true impact of these laws will occur when the new plan years turn over on January 1, 2011.  These states include:

Kentucky

New Jersey

In addition, Vermont’s autism insurance reform legislation will become effective July 1, 2011.

If you live in one of the newly effective states or work for a company that is headquartered in one of them, you could potentially benefit from the legislation. You can find details and helpful links related to the specifics of your state’s autism insurance law by visiting Autism Votes’ State Initiatives page and then clicking your state on the provided interactive map. This information will continue to be updated as it becomes available in the various states.

In addition, it is important to check with your employer’s human resources department to determine whether your health plan is subject to state law.  Some employers chose to self-insure, and are thus not subject to state law, but rather ERISA, a federal law.  If this is the case, please visit the Autism Votes resource page for self-insured plans.  Many self-insured companies are choosing to voluntarily comply with state autism insurance laws once they are made aware of them.

With twenty-three states now requiring health insurance to cover autism treatment, the momentum of this national trend is undeniable.  It is our hope at Autism Speaks that the remaining states pass meaningful autism insurance reform as quickly as possible, and that the states with laws on the books properly implement and enforce them so that families dealing with the challenges of autism at long last have the coverage they need.

NBC Nightly News featured Autism Speaks and new insurance policy laws being passed in 2011.

  1. Lisa
    January 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I live in Texas can you tell me do we have any of these laws aready here? Also if we do my daughter is on CHIP does that effect her too. thanks for your time.

  2. January 4, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hi Lisa,

    Texas does require coverage for state-regulated plans for children up to age ten. You can learn more at http://www.autismvotes.org/texas.

    I hope this helps!

  3. Jennifer Evans
    January 7, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Hello, We live in CT and have twins boys who are 7. Beginning in October of 2009 they were no longer being covered for OT and speech. Our insurance company has informed us that it is not them, but my husbands companys specific policy that excludes it. Since I thought it was ther law in CT to cover, can his company choose to not cover? They are a privately owned company. Thank you, Jennifer

    • Melace112
      January 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

      Looks like if they self insure, then coverage does not have to cover it. Check this out:

      This one is for CT
      http://www.autismvotes.org/site/c.frKNI3PCImE/b.3937875/k.9CDF/Connecticut.htm

      THis may be helpful for people no matter what state you live in
      http://www.autismvotes.org/site/c.frKNI3PCImE/b.3909861/k.B9DF/State_Initiatives.htm

      • kathy
        January 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm

        The additional problem in CT is that The Docs that spealciaize in treating autism don’t take insurance and charge an outragous amount. Autism treatment is only for the rich. We tried and couldn’t keep up with the thousands it cost monthly and became poor trying.
        Now even if when the isnurance does cover our premiums and copays have gone up for those who do accept our insurance. As all expenses have risen and jobs declined it is a financial struggle to have a child with a disability not recognized to receive any disability funds services.

  4. Lori
    January 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Of course Michigan didn’t vote for it……..another let down for our great state. Who knows if my son will ever get the assistance he needs:-( GO MICHIGAN! NOT!

  5. ts
    January 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    What are the laws in California?

  6. January 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    We screen for Autism. $200. We are licensed.
    We are @ Horizon Medical in Las Vegas,Nevada.. Email us soon……

  7. Esperanza
    January 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I need to to know,what are the laws in Illinois,when the insurance will cover the treatment for autism?

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