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Parents of Autistic Children Fight Back -- Warn HMO Regulator Against Siding With Insurers Refusing to Pay for Treatment
Date:2/25/2009

Kaiser, Blue Cross and Other Health Insurers Illegally Deny Treatment to Autistic Children, Says Consumer Watchdog

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Parents of autistic children and their families joined Consumer Watchdog today in warning California regulators not to side with health insurance companies that are scheming to avoid paying for autism treatment that is required by state law.

Consumer Watchdog released a letter to the California Department of Managed Health Care warning that it would meet any action to limit such coverage with a court challenge. Regulators must abide by the clear provisions of California law, which requires insurers to cover all medically necessary treatments. Download the letter at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/DMHCLetterAutism.pdf.

In the letter to the Department of Managed Health Care, Consumer Watchdog's founder Harvey Rosenfield and litigation director Pam Pressley wrote:

"It is your responsibility to enforce the laws of the state of California as written, and, to that end, to resist and reject pressure from the health care industry seeking to evade those laws. Millions of Californians, including those stricken by autism, and their parents and caregivers, expect no less of you and your staff. Should you fail to perform your duties in this regard, we intend to hold you accountable in the courts."

A recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General concluded that "thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy" of certain treatments for autistic children. Until very recently, California regulators have ordered insurers to provide the proven treatments.

However, according to a February 12, 2009 report in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the DMHC is being pressured by industry lobbyists -- and possi
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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