Utah’s Shameful ABA Lottery

Not cool, Salt Lake. Not cool at all.

Thirty-two states require insurers to provide coverage for autism treatment, causing premium costs to rise an average of 31 cents per member per month, according to data gathered by Autism Speaks, a national advocacy group. But a bill that would have provided this much-needed therapy died in the Utah House this year, dashing hopes for thousands of families who want their children to live productive lives. The “pilot program” the Legislature approved temporarily helps only a few hundred. Openings exist now for just 35 more children, whose futures will be determined by lottery. In a state with a rate of autism twice the national average, the lack of compassion shown by legislators is shameful.

via Short takes on the news | The Salt Lake Tribune.

Families Moving to States with Autism Insurance Mandates

Families are moving from Utah to other jurisdictions that require insurance companies to offer coverage for ABA and similar therapies…

In 2008 in a decision that felt bitingly unfair, the Eliasons moved to Colorado, leaving friends and family behind. But for April alone this year, their insurance company wrote a check for $3,534 for Isaac’s treatment that month. It included speech and occupational therapy along with Applied Behavioral Analysis ABA, increasingly recognized by states and other levels of government as effective therapy for autistic children.

via Without insurance for autism, Utah families leave state | The Salt Lake Tribune.