[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Oklahoma Insurance Department announces expanded coverage of autism benefits
August 30, 2021
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready issued a bulletin earlier this month addressing limitations in insurance coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA) benefits in state-regulated plans. The bulletin announced changes to the state’s mandated age, dollar and hour caps on coverage for autism therapies and treatments, specifically ABA.
The bulletin declares that the state insurance law’s maximum benefit of 25 ABA hours per week and no more than $25,000 per year for ABA services are in conflict with federal law and related regulations. The bulletin also announces that the state law’s age restrictions on autism-related benefits are considered discriminatory under federal law. This means that an individual in Oklahoma covered by a state-regulated insurance policy does not have to receive an autism diagnosis before age three in order to qualify for coverage of ABA nor does coverage end when the individual turns 10 years old.
The purpose of the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s announcement is to align state law with federal Mental Health Parity law. The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), as amended, and the related federal guidance and regulations generally prevent group health plans and health insurance issuers that provide mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits than on medical/surgical benefits. Such prohibited limitations include quantitative treatment limits like age and dollar caps.
To comply with the bulletin, state-regulated policies must change their plan terms by December 31, 2021.
Oklahoma’s autism insurance mandate was initially passed and went into effect in 2016. Since then, caps on coverage have limited families’ ability to provide individuals with autism the care they need. The August 2021 change in policy announced by Commissioner Mulready provides more equitable access to care and will benefit thousands of individuals across the state.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
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Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.