The Oklahoma State Senate passed HB 2962, autism insurance reform legislation, to prevent state regulated health insurers from continuing to exclude basic, evidence-based care for children diagnosed with autism.
The bill passed by a vote of 36-5. Last month, the measure passed the Oklahoma House with a vote of 76-20. Before being sent to the governor’s desk, HB2962 must pass one more House floor vote.
Without the reforms in the legislation, 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.
"We are thrilled the Oklahoma Senate gave overwhelming support to HB2962,” said Judith Ursitti, director of state government affairs at Autism Speaks. "We are hopeful that this measure will soon receive final passage in the Oklahoma House and be promptly signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin.”
“Oklahoma families have faced the incredible and unjust burden of not having meaningful autism insurance reform for far too long,” said Tara Hood, volunteer and advocate with Autism Speaks. “If HB2962 becomes law, Oklahomans with autism will finally have access to the life-changing, medically necessary treatments prescribed by their doctors.”
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.