A therapist, who is also a parent of a child with autism, recently wrote the following letter to us:
“I went out and did a few more intakes yesterday…I met children older than my son. None had ever had private ABA. I cried in my car on the way home. One of the boys still wears a pull up, is non-verbal, and stood at the sink playing with water the entire 90 minutes I was there. He’s in there. They all are. I know we can teach him. All of them. My heart ached at the thought of where they would be had they had access to private ABA instead of or in addition to school. What I am trying to say is thank you. You will never truly know the impact that you have had on my family. My son, though severely impacted, has made incredible gains via ABA. Had I simply sent him to preschool and not been able to access ABA, we would be in a far different place. That’s for sure.”
Accessing treatment for autism is challenging, even for the most resourceful of families. We are fortunate to do our work in Massachusetts which has some of the best coverage for autism in the country. But if you’re a family that has a self-funded insurance plan which still refuses to cover treatment, this doesn’t help you. If your insurance carrier doesn’t have an adequate network of providers, or all of the providers have huge waiting lists, great laws can’t help you. If you rely on MassHealth, and a system glitch inadvertently cancels your coverage, you can’t access treatment. This is just a small sample of the thousands of requests we get for assistance each year. For every problem, there’s a solution, but it takes a level of expertise and persistence that is beyond what most people can navigate without skilled expertise.
The complexities of insurance are daunting to everyone, and can be overwhelming for families struggling with a newly diagnosed child, education concerns, and other medical issues. Our Center provides the information, technical assistance, and support to help them understand what they need to access coverage. Clinicians, providers, advocates, school personnel and others look to us for assistance about how to support patients, guide families, deal with denials, and address the myriad of roadblocks encountered along the way. One medical professional explained:
Their [AIRC’s] ability to de-mystify insurance coverages, clarify options and rectify related problems at both the commercial and government-subsidized levels has contributed significantly to the implementation of patients services that might not otherwise have occurred were it not for AIRC’s commitment, savvy and collaborative spirit.
The Autism Insurance Resource Center responded to over 1,000 individual requests for assistance last year, and provided valuable training and resources to thousands of families, schools, providers, agencies, and others. We are committed to providing our services and resources at no charge, as this would create yet another barrier to those who desperately need our assistance.
To continue our mission, we would be most grateful for your generous support. Each dollar contributed towards our work facilitates access to thousands of dollars of treatments. We believe it’s a great investment for a great cause.
Giving is easy:
- Make a donation online
- In the field, “I wish to donate to:”, choose “Other”
- Please write “Autism Insurance Resource Center” in the box under “Other”.
Tax deductible donations may also be made by check, payable to “UMMF – Autism Insurance Resource Center” and mailed to:
Autism Insurance Resource Center – Attn: Donna Caira
UMass Medical School/EK Shriver Center
55 Lake Avenue North, S3-301
Worcester, MA 01655-0002