[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
North Dakota becomes 48th state to require autism insurance coverage
July 11, 2018
This morning, North Dakota became the 48th state to require autism insurance coverage. North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread announced that all state-regulated plans that have mental health coverage will be required to cover treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Bulletin 2018-1 issued by the North Dakota Department of Insurance requires all individual, small group and large group insurance plans to cover evidence-based treatment for autism, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. It also prohibits caps and limitations on other coverage, including caps on speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Grandfathered plans are required to include the coverage as of October 1, 2018, and non-grandfathered plans are required to include coverage as of January 1, 2019.
The insurance bulletin also carries national precedence in clarifying that state-regulated insurance companies should be covering autism treatments under existing federal mental health parity law.
Autism Speaks Vice President of State Government Affairs, Lorri Unumb, praised Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, noting that “laws are in place to prohibit the kinds of exclusions autism families routinely face; Commissioner Godfread had the guts to issue a bulletin and insist on compliance with the existing law.”
For over 8 years, North Dakota families have petitioned the state legislature to enact an autism insurance mandate.
Today’s announcements by the state Insurance Commissioner in Fargo and Bismark brought together families, health advocates, and state officials to celebrate this milestone in supporting individuals with autism in North Dakota.
Parent and Autism Speaks Advocacy Ambassador, Samantha Stewart explained that,
“Having ABA coverage in our state gives many families the peace of mind we needed. This shows that North Dakota is taking a step in the right direction. Advocates all over the state put in a lot of effort helping raise awareness to this issue and are very excited about this progress.”
Nationally, efforts to expand autism insurance coverage began in the early 2000’s and have continued every year since then. While we celebrate North Dakota as the 48th state with autism insurance reform, Autism Speaks continues to work toward improving coverage for autism treatments throughout the country.
“I can assure you that we will be knocking on the doors of the insurance departments in Wyoming and Tennessee, and in other states where certain types of plans still lack meaningful autism benefits,” said Unumb. “I plan to carry a hard copy of this bulletin in my purse for the next year.”
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
More With Autism Votes
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.