I emailed some family and neighborhood friends about this already, then decided I'd post it here, too. If you live in Utah, there is a bill coming up in the Senate that is important and personal to me: it is State Bill 55, which would require insurance companies to cover kids with autism and provide treatment that now is not covered.
Yeah, it's a bill is personal to me. If you know me, you know a family affected by autism, but chances are, you know many more. Utah has the highest rates of Autism, yet we're one of the states that doesn't require insurance to cover treatment. Lame!
Autism is expensive. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychologists/psychiatrists, private lessons etc. We recently took the redhead to an autism specialist who recommended a course of treatment that would cost us $48,000 a year.
Can you afford that? We sure can't. We are trying to trim the plan and asking second opinions. He's ten, so he isn't 'early intervention', but are there therapies and things we can do to help him learn/make his life better? Absolutely.
I'm not just talking 'autism treatments' either, I'm talking ANY medical care. Did you know that some insurances won't cover kids with autism for ANYTHING? Like well-child visits, illnesses, injuries. So some families are in deep, and praying their kid stays healthy.
It's not a way you think that autism could affect your family, but it even effects our career choices. We would love to someday start our own company. But we can't, because our son probably wouldn't be covered if we had to buy our own insurance. So we're still working for the man.
We've been talking a lot the past year about whether or not we will be moving. Besides looking at states with better air quality (we'd love to be rid of Utah's horrible air) we have also been checking states for autism insurance laws (and homeschool laws - why is moving so complicated?). I hope this bill passes and gives us another reason to stay.
So anyway, I urge you to take a second and email your senator. Here's a link with a form and prewritten letter (feel free to personalize/write your own): click here. Do it now, it may come up for debate VERY soon.
It's important, and it just takes a minute. Let's make Utah more awesome.