Saturday, November 22, 2008

Legislature should take action on autism bill - Enid Eagle Editorial

Legislature should take action on autism bill

November 22, 2008 12:19 am—

A bill that would require insurance companies to cover diagnosis and treatment of autism in children has been filed for the 2009 legislative session. A similar bill filed last year didn’t make it out of committee.We’d like to see the Oklahoma State Legislature consider this bill, known as “Nick’s Law” and named after 11-year-old Edmond boy Nick Rohde, who suffers from autism.Right now insurance companies aren’t required to cover children with autism.

Families with autistic children often have to spend thousands of dollars in therapy for their children, and some children don’t receive the kind of therapy that can help them because their families simply can’t afford it. The Oklahoma measure has received support; however, it was stopped in the House of Representatives last year. It’s time for Oklahoma to take up some kind of action on autism insurance.

Other states have enacted autism insurance legislation. It’s passed in Louisiana and Florida. And in Illinois, the governor is expected to sign a bill that would require insurers to cover autism treatment up to $36,000 a year until a patient turns 21.Latest statistics show one in 150 children born in the United States will have some kind of autism.

More and better diagnoses of autism mean more families are facing the challenge of autism, but have little recourse in getting their children necessary help. Oklahoma legislators have many states to emulate when it comes to coming up with some kind of insurance protection for autism. It’s time they make the effort and get something done on behalf of these families.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The last I heard, sooner start will no longer pay for your child to get diagnosed either!