The Oklahoma State House recently passed, HB 2962, autism insurance reform to prevent state regulated health insurers from continuing to exclude basic, evidence-based care for children diagnosed with autism. The measure passed with overwhelming support, 76-20. The bill now heads to the State Senate.
Without the reforms in HB2962, many Oklahomans will continue to face moving to other states to gain access to basic, evidence-based care for their family members with autism. If passed, Oklahoma would join 43 other states, including all states bordering Oklahoma, to pass legislation requiring coverage for individuals with autism.
At an average cost nationwide of 40-50 cents per member per month, passage of HB 2962 is the fiscally conservative thing to do. Forty-three states, including every state that borders Oklahoma, has passed this type of legislation.
"We are thrilled at the passage of HB2962 in Oklahoma, because every child with autism deserves the care their doctor prescribes. This victory would not have been possible without the committed leadership of our bill sponsors and the tireless efforts of grassroots advocates," said Judith Ursitti, director state government affairs, Autism Speaks. "We now are looking forward to educating senators on this critical legislation for families across the state."
The efforts have attracted significant local attention from local media, including a powerful Op-Ed in the Journal Record advocating for autism insurance reform and a special report by Tulsa's News on 6 which followed a family meeting with lawmakers and making their voices heard on HB 2962.
If you want to get involved advocacy efforts in Oklahoma or in your state, be sure to sign up for autism votes here.