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San Francisco Bay Area Autism Speaks Chapter Endorses Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism Recommendations for Equitable Insurance Coverage for Children With Autism
Date:10/22/2007

180,000 Children with Autism in California Lack Proper Healthcare Coverage

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Autism Speaks today announced the organization's endorsement of the California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism's recommendations to ensure appropriate and equitable health insurance coverage for children with autism. These recommendations were finalized and presented to the California State Legislature and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Autism Speaks urges that these recommendations are swiftly translated into legislation to be introduced in the 2007-2008 Legislative Session.

Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States. One in 150 children are diagnosed with autism, which is more than the number of children diagnosed with AIDS, juvenile diabetes and cancer combined, yet many of their treatments and therapies are not covered by private or public health insurance. However, autism insurance reform fits well within the state's practice of smart mandates, having minimal cost/premium impact and providing an essential and extraordinary benefit to the affected population.

"Autism Speaks commends the Commission and its staff for reaching out in countless ways to parents and advocates across California and for listening to our concerns about appropriate and equitable health care insurance for children with autism," said Kristin Jacobson, Chapter Advocacy Chair, Autism Speaks California. "We believe that all health plans and insurers should provide a full range of services for children with autism, including intensive behavioral treatment, such as Applied Behavioral Analysis, a highly effective, evidenced-based intensive behavior modification therapy."

According to the report, coverage of health care, behavioral, and psychotherapeutic services for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is limited, inconsistent or excluded altogether. Health p
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SOURCE The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Autism Speaks
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