Tell Ohio to Support Treatment for People with Autism

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Target: Ohio’s State Legislature

Goal: Support legislative efforts to ensure treatment for people with autism

Bills have been introduced into Ohio’s House of Representatives and Senate that would ensure people diagnosed with autism are able to receive the treatments they need. The proposed bills call for autism insurance reform, making autism insurance more comprehensive, improving coverage for certain important treatments.

A few years ago, the Ohio Mental Health Parity Act passed into law. What this law did was made sure that biological mental illnesses were covered by health insurers as a basic health care service. Unfortunately, Autism Spectrum Disorders were not included in the definition “biologically based mental illness.”

Because of this, some of the proven treatment techniques for autism, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, are not covered by insurers. The new legislation being introduced into Ohio’s House and Senate would amend this statute, allowing for the inclusion of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the definition of a biologically based mental illness. By doing so, treatments for autism would become one of the basic health care services covered by health insurers in the state of Ohio.

Ohio currently spends more money paying for education costs of children with autistic disorders; however, if treatment was insured, many of these costs could be avoided. If this bill were to pass, Ohio would join 32 other states that have already passed similar legislation. Sign this letter to tell Ohio’s House of Representatives and Senate to support making treatment available for people living with autism.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ohio State Legislature,

A bill was introduced into Ohio’s House and Senate that would make sure that patients with autistic disorders are able to receive the basic treatments they need. Currently under law, Ohio insurers are not obligated to provide treatments for autistic disorders as a basic health care service, due to certain statues of the Ohio Mental Health Parity Act. The proposed bill would amend this statute of the Ohio Mental Health Parity Act. Consequently, insurers would have to provide treatment for those with autistic disorders.

I urge you to stand with 32 other states for the right to treatment for people with autistic disorders. There is no time to waste, as it is important that treatment begins early, preferably during childhood. Allowing children early access to treatment could reduce Ohio state spending. According to the State Department of Education, $250 million is spent each year to pay for special education for children with autism. If certain treatments that many children in Ohio do not currently have access to were made available, these costs could be reduced.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: unicefiran via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. We must also investigate exposure to all kinds of chemicals and health hazards in the environment as a preventative.

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