The Autism Society, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for individuals with autism and their families, affirms that all people with autism have the right to access quality, affordable health care that meets their specific needs. This includes private health insurance, public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, and long-term care. To achieve this goal, the Autism Society believes any health care plan must include the end of discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions; the end of annual and lifetime caps on insurance coverage; the ability for young adults to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26; the addition of habilitation as well as rehabilitation services; and portable health care services. For many people with autism, their lives depend on being able to access health care.
The Autism Society supports the following health care principles for individuals with autism and their families:
• Ensure that health insurance is affordable.
• Maintain the requirement that health insurance be comprehensive in order to meet the needs of individuals with autism.
• Ensure that nondiscrimination provisions and the prohibition on pre-existing condition clauses are maintained, and that young adults can remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26.
• Ensure that all health care plans are transparent; include the disability community in any discussion to ensure that any changes meet the needs of individuals with autism.
• Ensure the entitlement to seamless delivery of the Early and Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program.
• Ensure that any health care plan is adequately funded to accomplish the goals of the health care delivery system for individuals with autism.
• Protect existing health care entitlements under Medicare and Medicaid, including Medicaid expansion.
• Ensure that the essential health benefits package is maintained to provide comprehensive benefits, including rehabilitative and habilitative services.
Adopted by the Autism Society Board of Directors, 7/12/2017