Monday, April 25, 2011

Autism Insurance = Medicaid Savings: Pass it On!

Autism insurance for Joy's intensive autism therapy saved the state of Wisconsin $30,000 or more in Medicaid dollars in 2010.

In other news, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is looking for ways to save money on Medicaid.

Yet two ALEC-inspired, not-yet-introduced bills (LRB0373 & LRB1529) would neutralize not only Wisconsin's autism insurance requirement, but also all the rest of our hard-won insurance mandates.

Wisconsinites: Help me connect the dots for the powers-that-be in our state!

There are two online ways to tell the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) about this. I have done both -- feel free to either do the same, or choose one or the other.

Option One: DHS has a "Virtual Town Hall Meeting" online survey, where you can submit suggestions for how to save money for Medicaid in Wisconsin. (This one does require your name and ZIP, and asks for full contact info as well).

Option Two: Wisconsin's Council for Children with Long Term Care Needs is collecting Medicaid-related suggestions to convey to DHS, and also to post on the Family Voices of Wisconsin web site. This one is child/youth focused, and does ask for an age-range of your child, and also asks your county but does not ask for personally-identifying information.

Here's what I told them both:

Due to Wisconsin's autism insurance requirement, passed in 2009, the state saved at least $30,000 in Medicaid expenses for my daughter in 2010. In 2008 and 2009, she received intensive autism therapies via the Children's Long Term Support Medicaid waiver. In 2010, our insurance paid in full for 8 months of intensive therapy that would otherwise have been borne by CLTS.

Unfortunately, two bills that have been drafted but not yet introduced(LRB0373 and LRB1529) would neutralize not only the autism insurance requirement but all Wisconsin's other insurance mandates as well. DHS should oppose this proposed legislation, as it would shift significant costs back to the state's Medical Assistance programs.

I also included a few other suggestions from a document called Survival Coalition Ideas for the DHS Town Hall Meetings (.pdf).

Anyone in Wisconsin can submit suggestions. Bonus points if you have a Wisconsin autism-insurance story of your own, and an even bigger bonus if you send your autism-insurance story to me as well ( or post it in the comments! If you send it to me via e-mail, I'll be in touch about how you would or would not like me to share your story further.

Our stories are SO important!

No comments: