Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Hartford Courant


Insurers Should Pay For Diagnosis

March 23, 2008

Harriet Clark's March 15 letter ["Services Accessed Through Schools"] contained some inaccuracies, but more important, it also missed the point of my testifying before a legislative subcommittee.

I, like many people, have spent a very large percentage of my income on health insurance because, like many people, I expected my insurance to pay for the basic medical needs of my family. It was only when my son was diagnosed with autism that I learned that somehow my insurance company, like most in this state, was not required to pay for my son's medical needs due to autism.

Although I applaud Ms. Clark for directing people to birth-to-3 services, those services, as well as the ones provided by public school systems, are not a substitute for the medical intervention for which my insurance company refused to pay. It is out of the scope of practice for the birth-to-3 or public school speech and language pathologists, teachers, and occupational or physical therapists to diagnose autism. This is a medical diagnosis and must be done by someone such as a neurologist or physician who specializes in developmental disorders.

This rather expensive medical diagnostic was not paid for by my insurance company. I testified before the legislative subcommittee to ask that the General Assembly mandate that insurance companies pay for medical coverage such as this for children with autism.

If readers agree, they should ask their state representatives to back House Bill 5696.

We, the citizens of Connecticut, spend our hard-earned money to buy health insurance to pay for our families' medical needs. It's time that insurance companies be forced to do what we pay them to do: provide for the basic health care needs for all of their customers — including those with autism.

Barbara Zachs

No comments: