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Oregon Autism Health Insurance Reform Bill

An Oregon parent reports that the Autism Health Insurance Reform bill has been formally introduced into the Oregon legislature.

The next Autism Health Insurance Reform meeting will be Friday, January 14th, at 7:00 PM - see details below Senators Edwards and Bonamici, and Representatives Buckley and Thompson have joined in co-sponsoring HB2214 and SB555 - identical bills, in House and Senate, based very closely on our work. I'm also pleased to see that we have bi-partisan co-sponsorship on this issue that truly affects everyone: Sen Edwards, Sen Bonamici, and Rep Buckley are Democrats; Rep Thompson is Republican.

As written, this bill:

Requires coverage for a range of medically necessary, evidence-based autism treatments, such as:

  • Habilitative and Rehabilitative Care, including Applied Behavior Analysis and Developmental Approaches
  • Pharmacy Care
  • Psychiatric and Psychological Care
  • Care by Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapist
  • Augmentative communication devices

Prohibits:

  • Arbitrary limits on the number of visits
  • Financial limits that are more restrictive than apply to physical illnesses
  • Age limits

Specifically recognizes BCBA certification - along with care provided by a wide range of other specialists, including certified physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, or a clinical autism spectrum disorder specialist certified by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission

The text of the bill can be found at:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/11reg/measures/hb2200.dir/hb2214.intro.html

In short, if passed, this bill would be among the best autism health insurance reform laws in the nation. (There will be some amendments - to remove technical errors introduced in the drafting process, and incorporate some of the ideas from the Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorder - but I'm confident that they will improve the bill further).

We've completed the first critical step - getting a great bill drafted and introduced. Now we need to make sure that we get this approved by the legislature, and signed by the governor. Our next Autism Health Insurance Reform meeting will be Friday, January 14th, at 7:00 PM. We will focus on planning our next steps to move this through the legislative process.

Date: Friday, September 10th
Time: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location:
Room 202
First United Methodist Church
1838 S.W. Jefferson Street
Portland, Oregon 97201

On-site, professional childcare will be provided. Bring your children to the Nursery, which is at the opposite end of the hall from Room 202, where we will meet. There is no cost, but donations will be accepted. A map of the church building can be found here:
http://fumcpdx.org/pdf/FUMC_map_2007_color.pdf