Friday, August 14, 2009

Autism Health Insurance in New Jersey

In these heated health care reform debate days, I found this article quite interesting. Several states are putting regulations in place that require insurance companies to provide coverage for diagnosing and treating autism. I found this link for a list of states that already have some policy on this issue. It is more than a year old, but has some good information. Aside from the diagnosis process being so subjective and confusing, the lack of coverage for diagnosis and treatment is my biggest frustration with the medical aspect of autism. We are now assured that autism is understood to be a medical problem; it is diagnosed, generally, by people with an M.D. after their name, and yet medical insurance providers duck responsibility. Their subscribers have paid premium upon premium assuming that if some devastating diagnosis ever came their way they would have insurance to help handle it. I am generally not one to ask for government intervention, and the more I hear about the current health care reform proposals the more frightened I become. However, I am no fan of insurance companies either. I suppose the thought of covering the medical needs of children who require therapy in several different domains over years and years due to a condition that is increasingly common and ill-understood leaves the executive boards of insurance companies shaking in their money-grubbing boots. I wonder if they could consider how it feels to face that same scenario as a parent with an average income, other mouths to feed, and the nagging feeling that the number of people on your side is small indeed. We know that children with autism do better with earlier and more intense intervention. In the end the early investment in therapy will probably save money down the line, but I'm not sure this is how they do the math. In any event, this is a topic that I'm going to be keeping my eye on.


Related Posts with Thumbnails