Friday, November 21, 2008

Autism Insurance Bill Passes

Congratulations to all the families who have been waiting for this. I was worried it would be stalled forever!

The Illinois Autism Insurance bill has finally passed, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Pete DiCianni, a dad who took this on almost a year ago and worked tirelessly ever since to get this done. We also owe thanks to Senator James DeLeo, Representative Skip Saviano, Representative Karen May, and many other sponsors in the General Assembly, in addition to Governor Blagojevich, Speaker Madigan, and Senate President Emil Jones.

Originally SB1900, the autism insurance bill got caught up in some political back and forth for a while, but persistence pays off--and the fact that so many of you called and urged your legislators to pass this bill. This Tuesday, the insurance language was reintroduced by Rep. May as an amendment to SB934 and on Wednesday passed the House 109- 0.

Friday, the Senate voted in favor 45- 6. Immediately after the Senate vote, Governor Blagojevich issued a statement applauding the action:"I would like to commend the Illinois General Assembly for making the right choice and voting in favor of families with autistic children. By approving Senate Bill 934, the members of the legislature have shown they overwhelmingly support my position that these families have a right to the treatment their children need and deserve. This is a cause for which I have fought diligently and I could not be more pleased that both chambers of the General Assembly have now affirmed that making treatment available to parents of autistic children is a priority we all share."

This landmark bill will cover up to $36,000 per year for diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, including applied behavior analysis, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological/psychiatric care. All Illinois group and individual policies are included.

Please read the bill's language for specifics and consult your employer's insurance/human resources person with any specific questions.

I would love to hear from some parents who are benefiting!

(Thanks to David Warner from the Autism Society of Mclean County for sharing the news!)

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.


Anonymous said...

Coming from a mother of a 6 year old who is on the Autism spectrum, I am very thankful to hear of this!

Diana said...

Praise God for this bill!
Our middle child has Autism and we have encountered many medical bills over the last several years. The worst was the Pediatric Phych. bills that insurance wouldn't even consider paying because they were autism related.
Another big hurdle passed!!!
Diana Shane
Chillicothe, IL

Marcia said...

Hi everybody. My name is Marcia and this is my first or second post to this blog.

I have a 19 year-old son who has Asperger's (high-functioning autism) and I have had a most horrendous time getting services for him. He was diagnosed at a time when autism was not nearly so prevalent in our society so I pretty much was put through the ringer trying to help him.

I too am very glad to see this bill and also the one that was passed last year which allows parents to legally represent their autistic children in a court of law when suing the school district for services. But for me, it all seems like a day late and a dollar short.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that when we unite our voice is heard. Our families need this support, and it's too bad that so many people didn't have this when they needed it, but it's a good thing going forward.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! It will be the best Thanksgiving I ever had. Even yesterday, I was debating on which therapy should I keep for my 3 year old as I can not afford all the therapies for her. This gives me some breathing room! Thanks to everyone working so hard on this!

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