Harmon protects families of people with autism from potentially devastating cost increase


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The American Psychiatric Association is considering changing

the definition of autism spectrum disorder. For most people, this change will probably go

all but unnoticed, but for the families of people diagnosed with autism, it’s a source of

major concern. They may find themselves suddenly bereft of insurance coverage if their

loved ones no longer qualify under the new definition of “autistic.”

State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) has confronted this problem by introducing

legislation in the Illinois General Assembly that “grandfathers” people whose insurance

already covers them for autism.

Harmon has been negotiating with stakeholders for weeks to arrive at an acceptable

agreement. His plan, Senate Bill 679, passed the Illinois Senate unanimously.

“Insurance coverage for a large percentage of children diagnosed with autism could be

jeopardized if the proposed changes to the diagnostic criteria are implemented, which is

causing many families a great deal of distress,” said Laura Cellini, a parent advocate

who worked with Senator Harmon on the legislation. “Parents are very grateful for

Senator Harmon’s efforts to ensure their children will not lose insurance coverage for the

medically necessary treatments that are helping their children.”

Harmon’s plan now moves to the Illinois House for further consideration.

Here is a link that explains the potential changes http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=autism-new-criteria

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About royfmc

BS in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University's McCormick College of Engineering MBA from DePaul University's Kellstadt's College of Business JD from DePaul University's College of Law
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3 Responses to Harmon protects families of people with autism from potentially devastating cost increase

  1. Roy, do you have any links on what the definition changes might entail? This is the first I’ve heard of it. Thanks.

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