Autism Speaks representative appointed to National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Consumer Liaison group

February 10, 2022
Headshot of Kelly Headrick
Kelly Headrick, Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks Senior Director of State Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy Kelly Headrick was recently named as a 2022 consumer liaison representative for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). In this role, Ms. Headrick will give voice to issues with coverage for autism services and mental health parity experienced by consumers of health insurance in the autism community.

For nearly 20 years, Autism Speaks has worked across the country on insurance reform to ensure that autistic individuals have access to the healthcare they need, regardless of whether a private or public payer covers their healthcare costs. During this time, we have celebrated huge milestones including all 50 states taking action to require meaningful coverage for autism treatments and therapies in state-regulated health plans. And as recently as this week, we celebrated Texas becoming the 50th state to implement its Medicaid autism services benefit which provides coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy when medically appropriate for autistic children. Our advocacy continues as we work to ensure that these legislative and regulatory achievements are properly implemented. By working with NAIC, Ms. Headrick’s consumer liaison role provides additional opportunity to highlight and address implementation issues with the coverage on which so many individuals in the autism community rely.

As part of a state-based system of insurance regulation in the United States, NAIC provides expertise, data and analysis for insurance commissioners to effectively regulate the industry and protect consumers. Their Consumer Liaison Program was established in 1992 and aims to promote consumer interaction with the NAIC’s members, insurance industry and interested parties. It depends on individual consumer representatives’ dedication and commitment to serving the public interest and providing insurance regulators with important and critical feedback.

Ms. Headrick began her term on January 1, 2022, alongside forty other representatives from a wide variety of organizations. She will continue in this role for the remainder of the year, helping to ensure access to reliable information and services for people with autism.