Have you been wondering what was going on with the process for insurance reform here in Nebraska? Be sure and check out the new web site so you can stay informed of the latest updates!
An Update from the Nebraska Insurance Reform Steering Committee…
Hi Everyone. As you may have heard, today Senator Colby Coash introduce a bill requiring insurance companies cover individuals with Autism up to age 21. Most of you are involved in organizations that will have special interest in this, so please copy and paste the following and send out to your list servs or contacts. Thanks to you all for the support over the last couple of (grueling) weeks!
Nebraska’s LB 1129–Insurance Coverage for Individuals with Autism!!
Today, Senator Colby Coash introduced LB 1129 that requires insurance companies to cover individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders up to age 21. The bill covers screening, diagnosis/evaluation and treatments, including evidence based behavior therapies such as ABA. This has been a long time coming in Nebraska, and we are so grateful to Senator Coash for standing up for Nebraska’s families who are affected by autism! (To read a copy of the bill, go to www.nebraska.gov and search for LB 1129).
Currently, the bill reads that children up to age 9 will be covered up to $70,000 per year, and those from age 10-21 have a financial cap of $20,000. However, Senator Coash has already agreed to introduce an amendment that would cover individuals for the first three years of treatment, up to $70,000 per year, regardless of age (up to age 21). After the first three years of treatment, each individual will be covered for up to $20,000 per year. The financial cap ONLY applies to treatment, and not to diagnosis or screening.
As you probably know, introducing the bill is just the beginning. We have a lot of work to do!! Many have asked how you can help. The Banking and Insurance Committee will be holding a hearing to discuss the bill, and your efforts are needed! We don’t have a date yet, but as soon as we do, we will pass it along, and ask for you to send an email to your Senator, and if possible, attend the hearing. We want to have lots of people in the audience representing our families, and showing our State Senators that we are unified!
PLEASE Like our Facebook page, Autism Insurance Reform in Nebraska, and continue to check email and our website for more updates. Our website will go live soon, hopefully on Friday, and there you can get additional information. (www.nebraskainsurancereform.org) . If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Thanks to everyone for all your support and hard work! Those letters you wrote a month ago were great, and your voices were heard!!
An update from Chrissy McNair and the Autism Insurance Reform Steering committee…
First, a BIG thank you to all parents and professionals who attended the hearing last week, and to all who wrote letters! Although we didn’t quite get the turn out we were hoping for, the hearing was a HUGE success! According to the representative who was there from Autism Speaks, our hearing was the best he’s seen yet! The Senators were very engaged, asked great questions, and I think the ground work has been laid for a bill to be introduced in January.
So, here are our next steps: We are working hard to determine what Senator would be best to sponsor our bill, and on getting feedback from the Banking and Insurance Committee on how they feel we should proceed. We are working with Autism Speaks to get national data to help build our case. The Nebraska legislative session begins in January, and shortly after the session begins, we will be given another hearing date to present our case, once again, to the Committee. This time, the discussion will center around the bill we propose. WE WILL NEED YOU!!
As soon as we know the date, we will send out information letting you where and when the hearing will be. PLEASE ATTEND IF YOU CAN!
Thanks again for all your efforts!
You can also check out our Facebook page ”Autism Insurance Reform in Nebraska” for updates and Information… Be sure to LIKE it!
We Need You! On Wednesday, November 30th at 1:30pm the Banking and Insurance Committee of the Nebraska State Legislature will be hearing testimony about Nebraska’s insurance coverage for people with autism. We want to send the message to our State Senators that we are united and it is time that insurance companies stop discriminating against people with autism and provide coverage for necessary therapies.
PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND! We want to pack the room with parents, family members, neighbors. Here’s what you can do:
1. PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND! The hearing will be in the State Capitol Building at 1:30pm on Wednesday, November 30th. Most likely, the hearing will last only an hour or so.
2. WEAR RED! This is a way for the Senators to easily see who supports insurance coverage.
3. WRITE A LETTER! Please write up a short email addressed to the “Banking and Insurance Committee Members.” Tell them in your email why you believe insurance companies should cover people with autism. Tell them the impact not having coverage has had on your family. (send to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Monday, November 28th) .
4. ASK YOUR FAMILY/FRIENDS TO WRITE EMAILS TOO! Have them send a short email as well on your behalf. The more letters we get, the better! (send to email@example.com)
5. SEND YOUR EMAIL/LETTER to firstname.lastname@example.org We will print off all these letters, bring them to the hearing, and submit them during testimony. YOUR VOICE WILL BE HEARD!!!
If you cannot attend, please send the emails anyway by Monday, November 28th. If you have any questions, please contact Chrissy McNair at email@example.com or Kristin Flott at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your voice is important! This is not going to be easy, and it will take the entire community, united together, to be heard.
Participants needed for a Research Study – An examination of the Relationship between Sensory Processing and Emotional Regulation in Children with Autism
Seeking: Parents with a child between ages 5 – 10
a. Either typically developing (no disabilities)
b. with Autism / Autism Spectrum Disorder
c. be able to complete one time surveys regarding child’s behavior
Estimated time: 40 – 45 minutes
Please download a flyer HERE.
Come and learn how to tell your own/your child’s story to other caregivers and local elected officials. Have your voices heard!
The Mosaic MEE! (Nebraska Advocacy Project) is an opportunity for individuals, parents, and guardians of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to build relationships with elected officials. You’ll receive resources to assist you along the way.
Tuesday, October 4th @ 2:00pm
Presented by: Sheila Page
Legislative Aide to State Senator Colby Coash
Download a flyer HERE.
Building Collaborations and Working Together Through Difficulties
Tuesday, November 1st @ 2:00pm
By: Bridget Cannon-Hale, MSW; Consultant
Building Relationships with Your State Senators
Wednesday, December 6th @ 2:00pm
Presented by: Denny Byars
Former State Senator for NE Legislature
The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act allows for significant federal appropriations meant to assist all individuals affected by autism. The law focuses on expanding research and coordination at the National Institutes of Health, increasing awareness and surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and expanding the interdisciplinary training of health professionals to identify and support children with ASD and their families. On September 30, there will be an immediate hard stop of this federal funding. That means some existing federal efforts through the previously noted agencies will be forced to cease their efforts.
To preserve the progress that has been made, the Autism Society believes the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. 1094/HR 2005) must be enacted urgently.
Visit the Autism Society of America link below where they have an electronic tool to help you customize an email to your local respresentatives. It truly only takes a couple of minutes to be heard!
As of today, neither of our senators have signed on! Tell them that you need their support!
The IDEA National Survey Project is sponsored by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Down Syndrome Society, Autism Society of America, Autism National Committee, and The Advocacy Institute. The purpose is to study whether parents perceive the playing field as level for children with disabilities and their parents, and whether they believe their rights are protected. The survey will examine what parents and those who work with parents think about these issues. The deadline for completing the survey is July 12, 2011.
All disabilities are welcome! The survey is not limited to the disabilities on which the sponsoring organizations focus. We are studying these issues as they affect all children with disabilities and special needs. We also have surveys for all members of the community.
Checkout the AWESOME float the North Platte Autism Society group put together for this weekend’s Nebraskaland Day’s Parade! GREAT JOB!
Don’t forget to help us celebrate World Autism Day! You can still sign up and join us at the State Capitol as it lights the top of the building blue in honor of World Autism Day.
Friday, April 1st 7pm in Lincoln
Members from the Autism Family Network and the Autism Society of Nebraska will also be meeting outside on the west side (S 14th Street) of the Capitol at 7pm to show our support with glow sticks as our State Capitol lights up blue.
To register for this event go to www.lightitupblue.org. On the right hand side under “participate” you will see some featured events such as the Empire State Building. Click o View All at the bottom which will take you to a new page and then click on Nebraska State Capitol and sign up! we would love to make a chain of support around the Capitol and raise autism awareness! We are hoping our blue will shine across the state!