Status of Autism Insurance Legislation
- Parent Category: GENERAL
LATEST NEWS: Governor Kasich recently announced a new autism policy which will definitely impact whether new legislation is introduced around autism insurance coverage - and indeed may eliminate the need for legislation. We are still working to determine the impact of the new policy, announced December 21, 2012. Click HERE for an FAQ on the policy.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: The 129th Ohio General Assembly is now over - it came to a close December 14, 2012. Here the status of the Autism Insurance Legislation - HB598 and SB381 - that was introduced this session
The House Health and Aging Committee held three hearings on the Autism Insurance Coverage bill - HB598 - Sponsor testimony (for those legislators sponsoring the bill) and then two sessions with Proponent testimony (for those in support of the bill). Marla Root, Chair of the Autism Society of Ohio Public Policy Committee testified at both House proponent sessions - in the first providing general reasons for supporting the bill and in the second providing detailed information on how families are impacted, what funding streams are used to finance treatments and how families use state funding. In addition, ASO Board Member Karen Melville (a parent) and Autism Society of SE Ohio President Noriko Kantake (also a parent testified).
The Senate Health, Human Services & Aging Committee held two hearings on the Autism Insurance Coverage bill - SB381 - Sponsor testimony and then one sessions with Proponent and Opponent testimony. The Proponent/Opponent session was to start at 2:30pm but did not end up starting until after 6pm. Noriko provided testimony for this session. Marla and Karen provided written testimony for this session.
All of the legislators at the two committee meetings asked very good questions and were interested in additional information about the legislation and issues related to the legislation. However, time ran out for consideration of the bill in this General Assembly.
We are working with a committed core of groups interested in moving this legislation forward and we have been assured by the bills sponsors that the legislation will be re-introduced early in the next session. We are already hard at work determining our strategy for the next session, getting information related to questions the legislators asked, updating testimony and lining up individuals to testify.
We appreciate all of your support - offering to testify, coming to hearings, contacting your legislators, sharing information on this issue - legislators want to hear from their local constituents and we wouldn't be successful without your help. Getting legislation passed is a process - so don't be discouraged! Excellent progress was made even if the bills did not make it to the chamber floors for a vote.
Please take the opportunity after the holiday is over to contact your legislators about this issue. We have a great What is Autism brochure on our website - click HERE. Share how autism affects your family and the need for insurance coverage for autism treatments.
To find out your legislators click HERE.
For an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on HB598 and SB381 that you can share with your legislators, click HERE.