Autism Advocates Pushing for State Laws Requiring Health Insurers To Cover Treatments

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In a California Healthline Special Report by Deirdre Kennedy, a patient advocate, an insurance industry representative and a clinical expert on autism discussed the national campaign to get health insurers to recognize autism as a medical condition and pay for its treatment accordingly.

The Special Report includes comments from:

  • Antonio Hardan, autism expert at Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital;
  • Kristin Jacobson, spokesperson for advocacy group Autism Speaks; and
  • Susan Pisano, spokesperson for America's Health Insurance Plans.

"It's definitely about time for insurance companies to consider autism like any other medical disorder and try to provide treatment for these individuals with at times severe deficits," said Stanford's Hardan.

However, Pisano argues that American Academy of Pediatrics considers some treatments to be educational therapies and explains that AHIP opposes coverage mandates in general (Kennedy, California Healthline, 10/28).


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