Sunday, March 15, 2009

Utah Lawmakers Say No to Autistic Kids

Thousands of parents made the trek to the State Capital building many times over the past couple of months. They attended the announcement, committee and floor votes for Clay’s Law. Just what was this landmark proposal? During the past legislative session parents were hoping to get financial relief for treating their Autistic child. What we they asking for? Large grants for experimental treatment methods? No. Did they want a free gift from taxpayers for unproven therapies? Nope. Parents just wanted their insurance companies to provide coverage for early intensive behavioral intervention for children with Autism. Interventions that were already known to be the most effective methods to help these affected children.

But, the costs would way too much for policy holders that may never need these services, opponents claimed. This proposal would have resulted in a less than 1% increase in insurance premiums. The ‘big money’ fact to consider is this: Untreated autism is estimated to cost approximately $3 million over the person’s lifetime. Intensive early behavioral intervention, the type covered by the bill, can cut this down by $1 million. That means the bill could pay for itself with the savings from just three or four children. With 1 of 79 boys in Utah receiving an Autism diagnosis the long term savings would have been tremendous.

So what will they be getting? An option to purchase a ‘rider’ type of policy before the child reaches 3 months of age. Not much help because of the fact that the average ‘severely’ Autistic child is not diagnosed until 18 – 24 months. What about the parents of children who already have an Autism diagnosis? Nothing. Chalk up another one for the insurance companies who seem to be better at taking care of themselves lately.

Dad

8 comments:

*Jess* said...

Oh, that's just so wrong.

The Drysdale's said...

I'm just so dissapointed in our legislature. It's just wrong to not give these kids the coverage they need.

Leslie said...

1 in 66 kids. Did I read that right? That is astounding. Where do you find these numbers, I would like to look them up for my state?

Dadof6Autistickids said...

Leslie,

Oops I crossed a few of my facts. Here are the latest for Utah.

UTAH REGISTRY OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES (URADD):

What has URADD discovered so far about Autism in Utah?
Utah has the 3rd highest rate of ASD in the nation:
o 1 in 133 Utah children have an ASD
o Utah has the highest rate of autism with loss of skills in the nation
More than 1% of Utah boys born in 1994 have an ASD (1 in 79)
o Utah boys are 7 times more likely than girls to have an ASD
Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in Utah
o Autism is 20 times higher in Utah than 20 years ago

There may be an Autism Registry in your state.

AZ Chapman said...

oh boy utah is not that great when it comes to sped another blog buddy is haveing a hard time with her son (with DS) being intergated in school down there too

Britt said...

Hi John... FYI, the Rider didn't even pass in the legislature.

We'll come back bigger and stronger next year! We'll have a better understaning of the legislature and what we need to be prepared for.

Dadof6Autistickids said...

Thanks Britt for the latest on this. That really chaps my hide! All that effort got us absolutely nothing. I was glad to hear that my Sen. Pat Jones did well by us.

Marla Valdez said...

John,

So I got your phone number a while ago from Stephanie (the Murray Post office) and I have misplaced it. She gave it to me and said that she thought it would be good if we talked. I would still love to talk to you and hopefully you can get a chance. I also live in Murray, and have so many questions about the schools here. If you get a chance, here is my email address:

Marlavaldez453@gmail.com

Thanks,
Marla Valdez