Target: Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Jeff W. Hickman
Goal: Pass a mandate that will force insurance companies in Oklahoma to cover families that have a child with autism.
In 43 states and the District of Columbia, insurance companies will cover the medical costs of families that have a child diagnosed with autism. Unfortunately, Oklahoma is not one of these states.
Lack of insurance coverage not only puts families in a financial crisis, but it also limits the number of doctors who specialize in autism. Even if a family could afford the thousands of dollars needed for behavior training and speech therapy, they wouldn’t be able to find providers.
Sometimes the only free autism service can be found in local school districts, but even schools are having difficulty hiring certified special education teachers. Research has shown that early intervention is necessary for children with autism to grow into independent and productive adults.
An autism bill in Oklahoma will enforce a mandate for autism coverage. If this bill is passed into law, thousands of families in Oklahoma will be able to send their autistic children to much-needed speech therapy and behavior training. Sign the petition below to urge the Oklahoma House of Representatives to pass this bill.
Dear Speaker Hickman,
Oklahoma parents fall into financial ruin year after year due to high medical bills because Oklahoma insurance companies do not cover the medical fees of children who are diagnosed with autism. Not only are insurance companies failing to cover the needs of autistic children, there is a severe lack of specialists in Oklahoma.
This is harmful to the child, as research has come to show that autistic children who are treated early on can grow into independent adults. The Centers for Disease and Control estimate that one in 68 children have autism, so it’s tragic to see that Oklahoma continues to ignore such an important issue.
Opponents of the insurance mandate believe that autism coverage will spike insurance premiums for all Oklahomans. Despite this, every state surrounding Oklahoma has implemented some kind of insurance mandate without a spike in insurance premiums. Oklahoma lawmakers need to stop listening to the insurance industry’s lobbyists and start thinking about the families in dire need of insurance.
Parents who have children diagnosed with autism deserve the same rights as parents whose children are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Please pass this bill in order to help the many children in Oklahoma get the coverage that they deserve.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Baylor University