On June 9 2010 the New York State Senate voted unanimously for the S7000B/A10372A insurance law to require insurance companies to cover screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism. This law only enables thousands of New York families to receive the benefit of evidence based, clinically proven interventions and treatments for autism spectrum disorders, like Applied Behavior Analysis therapy (ABA), as well as screening and diagnostic services.
It is a “better-than-nothing” law, and we need more. We need more laws, and we need to modify this a bit, more like the A6888.
S7000B/A10372A allows insurance companies to deny basic interventions such as speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and ABA therapy on the ground that they are not “evidence based”, “peer-reviewed” and “clinically proven.”
These new requirements would preclude coverage for almost all interventions for autism,
even those determined by a licensed physician to be medically appropriate and necessary. This standard would also serve to discriminate against individuals with ASD who would be required to meet this higher insurability standard, whereas all other individuals in New York would be required to meet only the traditional and less onerous “medically necessary” standard.
We urge the legislature to support an insurance bill that would meaningfully enhance
insurance coverage for individuals with autism. We believe that Assembly Bill A6888B,
legislation supported by the overwhelming number of autism organizations and families in New York, offers our children the best opportunity for fair and adequate insurance coverage.
We have learned from our practical legal experience in handling insurance coverage
disputes that insurance companies, with disturbing regularity, successfully avoid coverage for many therapies vital to children with ASD. We need legislation that will mandate certain basic non-experimental therapies that are medically necessary for children and individuals with ASD. We need legislation that will prevent insurers from denying coverage when a legitimate medical practitioner determines that therapy is medically necessary.
ELIZABETH BIRT CENTER FOR AUTISM LAW AND ADVOCACY
Jodi Bouer, Attorney At Law
Lisa Colin, Attorney At Law
Mary Holland, Attorney At Law, Director
Robert J. Krakow, Attorney At Law
Kim Mack Rosenberg, Attorney At Law
Want to do more? TAKE ACTION
Write to your Your State Upper Chamber Representatives, Your State Lower Chamber Representatives, Dean G. Skelos, Senator, Senator Sheldon Silver, Assembly Member, Harvey Weisenberg, Assemblyman, Assembly Member Kemp Hannon, New York State Senator, Chairman of Senate Health Committee, Pete Grannis, Assembly Member
Check the status of BILL NUMBER:A6888B “An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to requiring health insurance coverage of the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders”
************************* UPDATE August 18, 2010: S.7000B/A.10372A hits the Governor’s desk. He has 10 days to sign the bill into law! Call him today at (518) 474-8390 and tell him to sign!