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Calls to Action

Educating and Advocating for Low-Income Families with Children with Autism on How to Obtain Health Insurance Benefits for Autism Related Interventions

United States

Even with the recent shift to include those in the Healthy Families program in the new mandate, low-income families with children with autism spectrum disorders still face many health-care related access issues, including lack of autism specialists working with low-income populations, long waiting lists, language and cultural barriers, transportation issues, and other financial barriers. This project will seek to address some of these access challenges by helping to build an infrastructure of autism providers, providing educational workshops and consultation to those who can work the systems themselves, and offering direct advocacy services to families who need more direct support. Services will include offering template letters of medical necessity, reviewing treatment plans for medical appropriateness, and contacting the plans to request authorization. Information will include guiding families through the appeal process and work with the Department of Managed Health Care and other relevant agencies, to get speedy resolution through independent medical reviews. In counties where there are no providers who serve these populations, the leaders of the Autism Health Insurance Project will work with CAL ABA and other professional organizations to establish a network and build an infrastructure of autism experts.