Tuscaloosa Autism Advocate Calls for Insurance Coverage Reform

TUSCALOOSA, AL — A local autism advocate has announced plans to call on the city of Tuscaloosa to reform its health insurance policy to be more inclusive for people with autism spectrum disorders.

Hinson’s main concern is that although the city of Tuscaloosa recognizes April as Autism Awareness Month, the city does not actually cover autism treatment for its employees.

The National Institute of Mental Health defines autism spectrum disorder as “a neurological and developmental disorder that affects the way people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave.”

She then cited Tuscaloosa’s reported exemption to the Riley Ward Autism Insurance Reform Act, which requires most insurers to offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) coverage plans.

“I have been in contact with other autistic families who have been asking the city to change their policy to cover speech therapy, occupational therapy and ABA for years without success,” Hinson said in a statement Monday. “This Tuesday evening, we invite the community to join us at the town council meeting dressed in blue to urge town officials to reform their health insurance policy to be more inclusive for all. health and I will talk about the importance of autism coverage.”

In response to news from those gearing up to speak out on the policy, the head of the City of Tuscaloosa’s human resources department, LaShonda Kemp, told Patch that city officials plan to look into the matter before to move forward.

“As we strive to ensure that our employees and their dependents have access to the highest level of coverage, the City annually evaluates the benefits provided to employees,” she said. “The city council has requested detailed information and is currently considering the options. ”

The next regular meeting of the Tuscaloosa City Council is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28 in the council chambers of Tuscaloosa City Hall.

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