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Calls to Action

Advocacy in Action: 10 Great Accomplishments

In the past 10 years, the advocacy team at Autism Speaks has pushed congress to improve and enact laws that have positively impacted our community. Here are the 10 most successful accomplishments from our advocacy team:
1) Over $3 billion in federal funding dedicated to autism research, monitoring and professional training through the Combating Autism Act and successor Autism CARES Act.
2) 38 states representing 83% of the U.S. population require the health plans they regulate to cover autism treatment; 11 subsequently go on to expand their laws.
3) 36% of self-funded companies exempt from state laws now voluntarily provide autism coverage in their employee health plans.
4) Grassroots “army” of advocates reaches 300,000, primarily through recruitment at Walks.
5) Military families honored at event on board the USS Intrepid Museum, autism coverage through TRICARE steadily improved.
6) 8 million federal civilian employees, dependents and retirees start gaining autism coverage in some areas.
7) Nearly 30 states require autism treatment in their health plans created under the Affordable Care Act.
8) Autism Speaks Insurance Link created to help families navigate insurance coverage.
9) Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center created to facilitate autism insurance litigation.
10) New Medicaid housing and services initiative launched to address needs of fast-growing adult population.

Nationwide, increasing numbers of private insurance companies and other employee benefit plans are covering autism therapies. Yet many insurance companies continue to refuse coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is considered the standard of care for autism treatment, on the basis that it is "experimental" or "educational." Autism Speaks is working to change state insurance laws to require private health insurance policies to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. In addition, we are stepping up our outreach to major employers who self-fund their health plans to voluntarily offer coverage.

Click on your state in the map below to learn more about autism insurance reform!

United States

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut District of Columbia Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington  

GREEN - States (38 + District of Columbia; US Virgin Islands) with enacted autism insurance reform laws

States with Autism Speaks-endorsed bills for 2015

States pursuing autism insurance reform in 2015

States not currently pursuing autism insurance reform



The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.