Autism insurance mandate in California boosts coverage

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Regulation expands protection for behavior based treatments

Last week, a panel of experts on ASD treatment and advocacy gathered in order to assist families in California with understanding the way the new autism insurance mandates have broadened coverage for treatment of adults who have the condition with behavior based methods.

The event was held in the Haas Conference Center in Los Angeles and attendance was free.

As of July 1, 2012, thousands of Californian adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) became eligible for autism insurance coverage through their health policies for behavior based treatment services. This was the first time that this type of coverage became widely available in the state.

The autism insurance mandate was the result of the implementation of SB 946.

That bill stated that health insurers must provide autism insurance for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment of children, teens, and adults with an ASD.

Among the panelists at the autism insurance event who were there to both speak and assist individuals and families in clarifying their understanding of the regulations, were the following:

• Rick Rollens – he is known for speaking at events around the world that focus on the condition, as well as being the legislative advisor for the Association of Regional Center Agencies. Rollens is also a member of California’s Autism Insurance Task Force from the Department of Managed Health Care.

• Areva Martin – she is the co-founder and president of the Special Needs Network, as well as a member of the Autism Insurance Task Force of the state’s Department of Managed Health Care, and is a regular Dr. Phil show an on-air legal expert.

• Connie Lapin – she is the past president of Protection and Advocacy, Inc., as well as a current consumer and legislative activist for adults and children with ASDs. She has been honored by both the State Senate and the White House.

• Dr. Rhonda Robinson Beale – she is an OptumHealth Behavioral Solutions officer of external affairs. This group is a leading mental health solutions organization. She is also a member of the California Department of Managed Health Care’s Autism Insurance Task Force.

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