There is good news for autism this week, as Delaware passed a bill that will require insurance companies to cover autism diagnosis and treatments. It will also prohibit them from dropping coverage or refusing to cover people who have autism.
As great as it is, however, it's still unbelievable to me that we need laws to ensure this important coverage, and it's outrageous that some states still don't have them on the books.
According to Autism Votes, Delaware is the 32nd state to make much-needed reforms in autism insurance. While all the states differ in what coverage is required, at least there is some. Shockingly, in the remaining states there is no such requirement. This interactive map provides detailed information on what each state offers ... or doesn't.
It's heartbreaking to me that these families, who through no fault of their own already face such steep emotional and sometimes physically challenges, are also handed such a financial burden as well. Without coverage, many must pay out-of-pocket for services that can run upwards of $50,000 a year. In a statement, the organization said, "In the process, many risk their homes and the educations of their unaffected children -- essentially mortgaging their entire futures."
Many others don't get the treatment they need that could help them and their families in so many ways. It's unfortunate that insurance companies would need a law to tell them to do the right thing. Families aren't asking for special coverage, but they do want the same rights that those with other diseases and disorders face.
So this Delaware news is great indeed, but it also brings to light again the need for so much more to be done. EVERY state needs a bill like this. With 1 in every 110 children facing this disease, it's beyond the right thing to do for individuals with autism, for their families, and for society as whole. It's imperative.
Do you live in a state in which autism coverage isn't provided?
Image via Beverly & Pack/Flickr