With the drastic increase of autism diagnosis and autistic tendencies in children, there have been many state movements to mandate different bills to handle autistic services within the counties and state regions. Georgia is one of the latest to join this new bill mandate bandwagon. This new bill would advocate Georgia legislation and require insurance that would cover early intervention for care with children facing autism.
Currently many insurance providers do not offer any type of preventative, early intervention or other types of care for autistic children or autism tendencies in children. It is believed by several medical communities and professional communities that if early intervention were put into place, many misdiagnoses of autism and various forms of medication would be removed from the situation and children with autistic tendencies or autism could be handled in a much different and more efficient manner. The bill would mandate that the services become requirements for any type of insurance with in the state of Georgia. This insurance would include Medicaid and any type of state benefit medical insurance for children.
The name of the bill being proposed to the state of Georgia is Ava’s Law. This bill is being proposed by Representative Ben Harbin who is a Republican within the state. The plans are to file this bill with in the last week of February for hearings in March. The bill would ask insurance companies to cover expensive, intensive and other issues related to the treatment of autism in children. It is estimated that the increased costs would be $30,000-$50,000 per year to instill the care that is necessary.
This law is believed to be a mandate that would not only help the health of children but would also help parents trying to find the increased funds of care for autistic children each year. Applied behavioral analysis and other forms of early intervention care and ongoing care for children with autistic tendencies can be as much as $50,000 per year. For insurance to cover this would be a financial breakthrough for many children. Advocates for the organization Autism Speaks are standing behind the bill and asking that it be introduced in other states as a mandate to bring autistic services to states throughout the country.
Problems with the Mandate
There are several opposition and problems with the mandate. These oppositions tend to come from the insurance companies themselves. Due to health care reform and health care Reform Act presented by President Obama, the insurance will already increase in price which puts a strain on insurance companies. Many insurance companies feel that this mandate would cause several issues with the health care Reform Act and legislation that will affect what coverage insurance offers and the different policies that are available. There are many insurance providers who feel that this type of mandate would only be a short-term fix. There are many in the belief system that the short-term fix would give way to the health care Reform Act and the problem would resurface again. These individuals are asking that the mandate not go through and be reintroduced after the help to Reform Act and after the mandate has been updated to reflect the new health care reform act policies.