In December of 2014, the ABLE Act was signed into law by President Obama to allow families the opportunity to set up tax-exempt 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. As stated by Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, "some have called the ABLE Act the most significant piece of legislation affecting the disabled since passage of the American Disabilities Act nearly 25 years ago.” The bill was supported overwhelmingly in both chambers of Congress and by both parties across the aisle. This accomplishment took nearly a decade to achieve, with countless hours of negotiations and with the dedication of thousands of advocates. ABLE accounts, modeled after 529 college savings plans, now require state implementation. Autism Speaks advocates are working tirelessly to ensure that the programs are available to families across the county.
Helpful ABLE Links:
Autism Insurance Reform
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!
GREEN - States (43 + District of Columbia; US Virgin Islands) with enacted autism insurance reform laws
Alaska - Enacted June 27, 2012
Arizona - Enacted March 21, 2008
Arkansas - Enacted March 4, 2011
- California - Enacted Oct. 9, 2011; Amended October 10, 2013
- Colorado - Enacted June 2, 2009
- Connecticut - Enacted June 9, 2009
- Delaware - Enacted August 13, 2012
- District of Columbia - Enacted July 17, 2013
- Florida - Enacted May 2, 2008
- Georgia - Enacted April 29, 2015
- Hawaii - Enacted July 13, 2015
- Iowa - Enacted April 29, 2010
- Illinois - Enacted December 13, 2008
- Indiana - Enacted May 3, 2001
- Kansas - Enacted April 19, 2010; Amended April 16, 2014
- Kentucky - Enacted April 14, 2010
- Louisiana - Enacted July 2, 2008; Amended June 28, 2012
- Maine - Enacted April 12, 2010; Amended May 1, 2014
- Maryland - Enacted May 5, 2014
- Massachusetts - Enacted August 3, 2010; Amended January 11, 2013
- Michigan- Enacted April 18, 2012
- Minnesota- Enacted May 23, 2013
- Missouri - Enacted June 10, 2010
- Mississippi - Enacted March 27, 2015
- Montana - Enacted May 5, 2009
- Nebraska - Enacted April 21, 2014
- Nevada - Enacted May 29, 2009
- New Hampshire - Enacted July 23, 2010
- New Jersey - Enacted August 13, 2009
- New Mexico - Enacted April 2, 2009; Amended April 5, 2013
- New York- Enacted Nov. 1, 2011
- North Carolina- Enacted October 15, 2015
- Oregon - Enacted Aug. 15, 2013
- Pennsylvania - Enacted July 9, 2008
- Rhode Island- Enacted June 30, 2011; Amended June 28, 2012
- South Carolina - Enacted June 7, 2007
- South Dakota - Enacted March 19, 2015
- Texas - Enacted June 15, 2007; Amended June 19, 2009; June 15, 2013
- U.S. Virgin Islands - Enacted May 19, 2014
- Utah - Enacted April 2, 2014
- Vermont - Enacted May 27, 2010; Amended May 16, 2012
- Virginia- Enacted May 6, 2011; Amended February 7, 2012
- Washington - Announced November 15, 2014 (litigation, state regulation)
- West Virginia- Enacted April 1, 2011; Amended April 2, 2012
- Wisconsin - Enacted October 19, 2009
States pursuing autism insurance reform in 2015
Autism Speaks 2014 State Initiative Map!
Download a PDF version of our 2014 State initiatives map. Updated November 15, 2014
The Fiscal Impact of Autism Insurance Reform
In order to determine the fiscal impact of autism insurance reform, Autism Speaks has collected claims data from states where such laws apply to members of the state employee health plan and have been in effect for at least one year. (March 2012)
Autism Speaks Model Legislation
Our model bill reflects language that has been vetted throughout this process and we have refined the model legislation accordingly. Updated February 2014
2012 National Profile of Children with Special Health Care Needs and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the report summarizes key findings from the 2009/10 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs and the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health.
Autism Spectrum Disorders Mandated Benefits Review Panel Report
This report details the cost effectiveness of autism insurance coverage and, while prepared specifically for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, this analysis can be presented as evidence in all states.
Consumer Guide to Handling Disputes With Your Employer or Private Health Plan
Prepared by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Consumers Union (August 2005)
Military Families and Autism Advocacy
A page especially for military families affected by autism.
Want to speak to someone in YOUR community about autism legislation?
Find your community's Autism Speaks Chapter Advocacy Chair and contact them with any questions!
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