Autism Speaks recognizes Oklahoma Commissioner Mulready for work on autism insurance coverage
Access, affordability and quality of health care service are crucial factors influencing health outcomes for people with autism. Health insurance is uniquely situated to promote these factors, and Americans count on insurance regulators at both the state and federal level to monitor the industry and look out for the interests of insurance consumers. On Thursday, October 13, autism advocates and families joined us in recognizing Oklahoma Insurance Department Commissioner Glen Mulready with an Autism Speaks 2022 Public Service Award for championing initiatives that support coverage of autism therapies and treatment for people with autism in Oklahoma.
From his work as an insurance professional and as a state legislator, including his service as the chair of the Oklahoma House Insurance Committee, Commissioner Mulready has a deep understanding of the stability and security that health insurance provides families; and this is especially true for families affected by autism. “Individuals with autism have limitless potential and a crucial component of their success is often various evidence-based therapies and treatments to help with the challenges caused by autism,” said Christa Stevens, Autism Speaks Director of State Government Affairs. “We at Autism Speaks honor Commissioner Mulready's significant leadership on these issues.”
Under Commissioner Mulready’s leadership, the Oklahoma Insurance Department issued a bulletin in August 2021 which removed the state’s caps on coverage for autism therapies and treatments and characterized the state law's diagnosis age restrictions as discriminatory. And with the passage of SB 1240, state-regulated small group and individual plans will be required to provide meaningful autism insurance coverage beginning in 2023. “Oklahoma's commitment to enforcing its state autism insurance law—and expanding the types of health plans that have its protections—is having a positive effect on many Sooner families,” shared Ms. Stevens.
The award presentation included Autism Speaks Director of State Government Affairs Christa Stevens and Council of Autism Service Providers Vice President Judith Ursitti. Tara Hood, a parent of two children with autism and a long-time volunteer advocate for the Oklahoma autism community also had the opportunity to thank Mulready for his support.
Individuals in Oklahoma interested in shopping for an insurance plan that provides insurance benefits for autism-related treatment should use the Federal Exchange at www.healthcare.gov or contact a licensed agent/broker or insurance carrier selling in Oklahoma. A directory of licensed agents/brokers is available at www.healthcare.gov.
Individuals in Oklahoma who are experiencing limitations on the use of their insurance for the treatment of autism-related challenges should contact Consumer Services at the Oklahoma Insurance Department to discuss possible inconsistencies with Commissioner Mulready’s bulletin.