Autism is one of the fastest growing developmental disabilities in our country. With 1 in 68 children being diagnosed, autism has become one of the primary concerns of parents all over the nation and in Oklahoma. However, finding treatments for this disorder can be very tough.
Are There Any Treatments For Autism?
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the leading method for treating children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The program enables children with autism to learn new skills and manage their negative behaviors, and it has helped many kids grow up to hold jobs and pay taxes. It is described as the best treatment we have for autism, so why do only 36 percent of Americans with insurance have coverage for this treatment?
Why Is It So Hard To Get Autism Therapies?
Insurance companies claim that covering ABA would cause dramatic increases in member premiums, so many forgo the coverage where it is not required by states. However, Amy Weinstock—University of Massachusetts’ director of the Autism Insurance Resource Center—claims that premiums in her state have not risen over 1 percent, and statistics coming out of other states match those claims.
How Many States Have Autism Therapy Coverage?
At the moment 44 states have laws requiring ABA coverage, but the rules are different in every state. Some states only require ABA coverage for state employees, and some only allow ABA in the Affordable Care Act marketplace of their state. This means that many businesses don’t have to provide coverage for the best autism treatment available, but senators all across the country are trying to change that.
How Can We Expand ABA Coverage?
Only six states—including Oklahoma—don’t have laws requiring some form of ABA coverage, but that may soon change. Our state is considering a bill that could mandate coverage for ABA treatments, but the gears of the government turn slowly. Be sure to contact your local government representatives and let them know that children with autism need coverage, too.
Parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder can also get help to pay for autism treatments. The Social Security Administration recognizes autism as a disabling condition, which means you could apply for SSI coverage. To learn more about SSI coverage, keep following our blog and look for updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages.