Parents of Autistic Kids Push State Lawmakers For Health Insuran - myfoxcarolinas.com

Parents of Autistic Kids Push State Lawmakers For Health Insurance Bill

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Families of children with autism are pushing North Carolina lawmakers to cover ABA therapy sessions.

So far, 37 states have autism insurance reform but North Carolina isn’t one of them.

That means parents with autistic children don’t have health coverage for certain therapy programs and that can cost around $60,000 per year out of pocket.

5-year-old Sam Mullen loves to play with her dolls.

“My daughter was diagnosed at 2 years old and went into ABA therapy and had it for 10 months. It did wonders for her,” said Stephanie Mullen.

Sam has had speech therapy and even occupational therapy.

“If she didn’t have it, I wouldn’t be able to communicate with my child,” said Mullen.

Sam’s mother Stephanie says she’s frustrated with North Carolina’s health care policies when it comes to autistic children.

 “We are from another state and that state had autism insurance reform,” said Mullen.

She’s worried that if her youngest daughter is also diagnosed, she won’t be able to afford therapy.

“I am the insurance to do what’s right. I am asking the Senate to do what’s right. You wouldn’t deny insulin to a child with diabetes. So why are you denying ABA to a child with autism,” said Mullen.

Mullen says if lawmakers don’t approve autism insurance reform, some parents may move out.

“Parents are moving out of the state to SC which has coverage, GA, VA. They are getting out of here to a state where their child can be helped.”

“Our goal is to help autism insurance reform passed so that 1 in 58 parents can get the help their child needs.”

Mullen says military families and employees who work for the state government are covered.

But she’s hoping state lawmakers will make this available to everyone in the state.

The bill has passed through the house and now is in the hands of the Senate.

If it doesn’t pass, the entire process will have to start again and that could take another few years.

So now it’s a waiting game to see if lawmakers will approve autism insurance reform.

You can read more about it here: http://www.autismspeaks.org/advocacy/state/north%20carolina

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