This is one of only four states in the country without a mandate requiring coverage for those on the spectrum.
A new Idaho insurance reform effort is underway as a result of an advocate group that wants to bring the state up to the national standard. There are only four states left in the country that do not require private insurance companies to provide autism treatment coverage.
The new movement is designed to encourage reform in autism health insurance coverage.
Over the weekend, advocates for Idaho autism insurance met in Idaho Falls in order to boost community education and awareness regarding the condition and the treatments currently available for it. Parents of children on the spectrum know they have wonderful kids who need treatment in order to achieve their best potential and overcome many of the symptoms of the condition that can hold them back from being able to function in everyday life.
Among the treatments, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is among those that are considered to be the most helpful with the widest range of benefits and successes. In most states, it is covered under private health insurance plans. However, in Idaho, insurance companies are not required to include that coverage.
The lack of Idaho autism insurance means many parents can’t afford the treatments their kids require.
According to Certified ABA Therapist, Pete Molino, “Those practices that are used in ABA have empirically been studied for years and years and years, and it’s kind of unquestionable that it is effective when it’s ran correctly.” ABA treatment requires certification. Unfortunately, there are very few certified experts in Southern Idaho, primarily because it is not covered by health insurance so the demand is low as parents can’t afford it.
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The advocates in the state are now working on passing a bill in the Idaho legislature to include the state among those where coverage is required by private health insurance companies. That said, this effort remains in its preliminary stages and still requires considerable progress before it can become law.
Unfortunately, without ABA, many kids with autism will be held back from the progress they could be making or may regress from the progress they have already achieved. When treatment doesn’t arrive in time for certain critical stages in development, the impact can affect autism patients for the rest of their lives.
Last weekend’s event was held partly in the hope of encouraging more state residents to take an interest in Idaho autism insurance and push politicians to take it more seriously.