[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Missouri Announces $4.5 Million Settlement with Aetna
Company failed to provide required coverage for diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders
May 19, 2015
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon today announced that the State of Missouri has reached a $4.5 million settlement with Aetna Life Insurance Company and Aetna Health Insurance Company, which failed to provide the required coverage for diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
The settlement – which includes Missouri’s largest fine ever for insurance law violations — allows the Missouri Department of Insurance to suspend the companies from doing business in the state for up to one year, if they violate the agreement during a three-year monitoring period.
“The landmark law requiring insurance companies to cover autism spectrum disorders was a great victory for many thousands of Missouri kids and their families,” Gov. Nixon said, in announcing the agreement at the Burrell Autism Center in Springfield. “This agreement demonstrates that we will hold Aetna or any other insurance company responsible to the people of this state – particularly children with autism disorders – to provide the coverage the law requires.”
In 2010, Gov. Nixon led a bi-partisan effort to pass the law mandating the coverage of autism diagnosis and treatment. For the first time, insurance companies were required to cover one of the most highly effective types of therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA. The cost of ABA can exceed tens of thousands of dollars a year, making insurance coverage necessary for most families.
“Ever since the legislature led the way by passing a strong autism insurance mandate back in 2010, the state of Missouri has shown a remarkable commitment to enforcing that law for the benefit of families struggling with autism,” said Lorri Unumb, Autism Speaks’ vice president of state government affairs. “We commend Governor Nixon and Commissioner John Huff for their continuing leadership and willingness to do what’s right for these families and ultimately for the state.”
In today’s settlement, Aetna admitted it failed to offer autism coverage in some cases. In addition to a $4.5 million fine, Aetna must undergo a corrective action plan and three years of monitoring by the Department of Insurance. A portion of the fine, $1.5 million, will be suspended if Aetna complies with the settlement agreement. Under the Missouri Constitution, civil fines go to the School Fund.
In 2012, the two Aetna companies also admitted to violating the autism mandate and paid a $1.5 million fine under a settlement agreement with the Department of Insurance. The companies were required to undertake a complete audit to ensure compliance with all Missouri insurance mandates. Aetna admits it did not undertake that full compliance audit.
“These were serious violations that deserved serious punishment,” Governor Nixon said, “and that’s what Aetna received.”
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
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.