Last week, 3 major Mississippi health providers entered into a voluntary agreement with the Mississippi Department of Insurance to remove the age cap for coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the Mississippi autism mandate.
When the Mississippi autism insurance bill passed in 2015, it included a restriction that ABA benefits would only be available through the age of eight (with some ability to exceed if ongoing coverage is medically necessary). ABA therapy is the leading treatment for individuals diagnosed with autism. Studies demonstrate many children with autism experience significant improvements in learning, reasoning, communication, and adaptability by participating in high-quality ABA programs.
As of January 16, 2018, BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi, UnitedHealthcare of Mississippi, and Magnolia Health voluntarily agreed to lift the age cap for ABA coverage. Autism Speaks Vice President of State Government Affairs, Lorri Unumb had the pleasure of announcing this good news on morning radio as well as attending the press conference in the Mississippi State Capitol on Tuesday morning.
In addition, the Mississippi Insurance Department unveiled two new resources designed to help consumers with any issues related to claiming health insurance benefits for autism screening, diagnosis, and treatment – an Autism Hotline (1-833-488-6472) and an Autism Insurance Resources website (http://www.mid.ms.gov/autism).
Autism Speaks is grateful to the leadership of Mississippi Insurance Commissioner, Mike Chaney and Mississippi Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann for championing beneficially policies and resources for the autism community.
For more information and guidance on your insurance benefits, please contact the Autism Speaks Advocacy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.