Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones this week announced that the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the emergency regulations aimed at eliminating delays and denials of coverage for autism treatment. Commissioner Jones issued these emergency regulations to protect children diagnosed with autism and their families from the emotional, physical and financial harms caused by insurer denials or significant delays in autism treatment, which has reached crisis proportions in California.
“I am extremely pleased that the Office of Administrative Law has approved our emergency regulations,” said Commissioner Jones. “These emergency regulations will ensure that insurance companies cover medically necessary treatment required by the Mental Health Parity Act and Senator Darrell Steinberg’s autism treatment legislation. Autistic children and their families should now, without delay, receive the transformative treatment that will enable them to succeed in school, their families, and communities.”
The California Mental Health Parity Act was intended to provide adequate private health insurance coverage and benefits for mental illnesses. The legislature found that autism is one of several severe mental conditions that are seriously disabling. Failure to provide adequate coverage in private health insurance policies significantly increases expenditures by state and local government for medical treatment, special education and other services.
Later laws, such as SB 946 (Steinberg), signed by Governor Jerry Brown in October, 2011, reconfirmed the mandate for health insurers and HMOs to provide behavioral health treatment for autism. This emergency regulation is expected to benefit thousands of California’s children and families and save California taxpayers approximately $138.8 million to $197.8 million over the next year in costs that should properly be borne by insurers. These emergency regulations are the latest in a series of actions taken by Commissioner Jones to make sure autistic children can receive behavioral therapy treatment.
Gibbons will appear on the highly popular, live web show to discuss her new book, Take 2: Your Guide to Creating Happy Endings and New Beginnings. Gibbons plans to open up about her personal and professional life and how she learned to overcome life’s obstacles and create her own happy endings and new beginnings.
“This is more than a book to me. It's a chance for me to share my life and the lessons I have learned with ‘Let’s Talk Autism’ viewers in hopes that they’ll become inspired, encouraged, and empowered enough to realize that, if this is not the life they ordered, then they can always call for a TAKE 2,” says Gibbons.
“Let’s Talk Autism with Shannon and Nancy” viewers can ask questions online during the live show.
In honor of Autism Awareness Month and the Month of the Military Child, ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) will host their 3rd Annual ONEHOPE ACT Today! For Military Families (ATMF) 5k/10k Run/Walk and Family Festival. This event will provide fun for the entire San Diego community while raising funds and awareness for military children with autism. The event will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Tecolote Shores Park in Mission Bay. Net proceeds from the event will help the national non-profit organization provide care and treatment to military children and their families affected by autism.
The ONEHOPE ATMF 5k/10k Run/Walk and Family Festival event will feature a flat, scenic course starting at Tecolote Shores Park in Mission Bay. Participants can choose between the 5k, 10k (both chip-timed) or 1-mile Fun Run. The Family Festival will follow the Run/Walk and is free for the entire community. It will feature music, a wine and beer garden sponsored by ONEHOPE Wine and Stone Brewing Co., 35+ vendor booths and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders Kids’ Zone that will include inflatables, carnival games, face painting, arts & crafts.
Each race entry includes an event t-shirt, complimentary coffee or hot chocolate from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, a complimentary mini sub from Jersey Mike's Subs, entry into the post-race raffle and a complimentary beer from Stone Brewing Co. or ONEHOPE Wine (must be 21 and over).
“Military families impacted with autism face unique challenges as a result of frequent deployments and change of duty stations in addition to a complex healthcare system,” says ACT Today!’s Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson. “Our program alleviates some of the burden military families face by providing life supports their children need to reach their highest potential.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 88 children in America is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making ASD more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer and childhood AIDS combined.
Event sponsors of the ONEHOPE ATMF 5k/10k Run/Walk and Family Festival are (as of February 28) ONEHOPE Wine, KNBC 7 San Diego, Energy 103.7, KyXy 96.5, Jersey Mike’s Subs, SeaWorld San Diego, Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), Ralph’s, Wells Fargo, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Sports Authority, AmeriFirst Financial, Inc., Southwest Airlines, Stone Brewing Company, and Clif Bar.
About ACT Today!:
ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources and funding to families of children with autism who cannot afford or access the necessary tools their children need to reach their full potential. For more information about ACT Today!, visit: www.act-today.org.
About ACT Today! for Military Families:
ACT Today! for Military Families (ATMF), is a national program of ACT Today!. It was launched in July 2010. ATMF works to improve awareness and delivery of effective autism services, and provides financial assistance to military families to help defray out-of-pocket costs associated with autism treatments, services, and other quality of life programs. For more information about ACT Today! for Military Families, visit: www.acttodayformilitaryfamilies.org.