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Salt Lake Tribune: Desperate Parents Surrender Kids to State

SALT LAKE CITY (September 30, 2012) -- In its lead story, The Salt Lake Tribune explored the plight of parents across Utah who have been forced to surrender their children with autism into the state's child welfare system due to the lack of autism insurance coverage.

Reporter Julia Lyon documented over 20 cases in the past three years of Utah parents surrendering childen to the state's child welfare system because they could not afford behavioral therapies and other treatments due to the lack of insurance coverage. The article quotes Autism Speaks Executive Vice President Peter Bell describing autism insurance reform as both a "moral and fiscal imperative."

Utah is one of 18 states that has yet to ban insurance industry discrimination against families raising children with autism by refusing coverage of treatment. A law enacted earlier this year in Utah established a pilot program in which private employers and insurance companies would provide some coverage through $1 million in voluntary contributions.

According to the Tribune, the state has yet to receive any private contributions, but has contributed $4.5 million in state and Medicaid funding for a public pilot program.

Read the full Tribune story here.