Des Moines— Autism Speaks advocates rallied in Des Moines this week to push for autism insurance reform. The February 4th rally was held in conjunction with Autism Society of Iowa's Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day with hundreds in attendance, including individuals with autism, their families and service providers.
Speakers at the rally included elected officials from across the state such as Governor Terry Brandstad, House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow, State Representatives David Heaton and Rick Bertrand. Other were Alec Kennedy, from U.S. Chuck Senator Grassley's office who addressed the need federal wandering and safety legislation and Judith Ursiitti, Director, State Government affairs who called for action on autism insurance reform in the state.
After opening remarks, attendees met with legislators to voice the needs of the community, including advocating for passage of autism insurance bills, House File 2112, sponsored by Rep. Ron Jorgensen and Senate File 2072, sponsored by Senator Robert Dvorksy. If you live in Iowa, you too can send a letter state legislators to support the passage of autism insurance reform this legislative session here.
After opening remarks, attendees met with legislators to voice the needs of the community, including advocating for passage of autism insurance bills, House File 2112, sponsored by Rep. Ron Jorgensen and Senate File 2072, sponsored by Senator Robert Dvorksy.
In 2010, the Iowa Legislature added meaningful autism coverage for Iowa state employees in their health plans. Reforms sponsored by Senator Dvorksy and Rep. Jorgensen, would provide equal coverage to the one million Iowans with private health insurance that currently do not have it in their plans.
Advocates point out that requiring coverage in the state regulated private health insurance market is fiscally responsible and will provide tremendous benefits for those who access to medically necessary care.
Premium impact for the state employee coverage is reported at 29 cents per member per month after 5 years of coverage. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the lifetime cost of caring for a person with autism is $3.2 million. Be sure to sign up here to receive the latest news from Autism Votes on all advocacy related issues in your state.