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LB 505 Talking Points

  • Requires certain health insurance plans sold in Nebraska to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders in children and youth less than age 21.  Covered services included behavioral health treatment including applied behavior analysis (ABA) when provided or supervised by a board certified behavior analyst or licensed psychologist.  Caps coverage for ABA treatment at $40,000 each year annually to age 21.

 

This bill won’t cover all children in Nebraska.  Should we wait for a bill that will cover everyone?

  • We are aware that this legislation does not cover every child in Nebraska.  We estimate this bill will reach 1000 additional children.  LB 505 as amended is a compromise with insurers and limits types of policies it would affect, satisfying concerns regarding ACA. It is a compromise we are willing to make to ensure at least some families get coverage rather than know their son or daughter will not get treatment.  The amendments have been agreed to by all three health insurers in Nebraska.  Every child is worth helping.  This is a first step.  Are we saying if we can’t help everyone than we shouldn’t help anyone?  No child is dispensable.  We do not know when federal legislation may be passed.  Every minute counts for our kids.  No child can afford to wait.

Will this bill bring an additional cost to the state?

  • Language in LB505 clarifies that the proposed benefits will only apply to plans offered outside the Nebraska Exchange therefore, there will be no cost to the State of Nebraska if Health and Human Services under the Affordable Care Act determines that the benefit exceed the essential health benefits.
    • Essentially there is language that covers possible interpretations that are yet to come out of the Affordable Care Act.  This benefit will not result in the State of Nebraska paying anything to cover this benefit – excluding any requirement to cover state employees as part of their health insurance plan.

 

Will this bill cause an increase in my insurance premiums?

  • Small employers with group plans may receive a waiver from the Nebraska Department of Insurance if the required coverage results in a 2.5% increase or more in policy cost in one year.
    • If this benefit results in 2.5% increase in premiums, small businesses can opt out.  Missouri has a similar provision in their law and no small business has applied for the waiver since their law went into effect.
    • Actual claims data from States that were among the first to enact autism insurance reform laws demonstrate the average cost of this benefit to the insurance company to be 31 cents per member per month.
      • This issue has been studied in other states with similar legislations the cost increase is less than 1% of current health care policy premiums.  Anyone who tells you this mandate will result in an increase in premiums, demand to see the data that proves that.  There is none!  All the data from the 36 other states that have passed autism insurance legislation demonstrates that it has not resulted in any significant increase in premiums.
      • This legislation will also generate savings to public school districts ($208,500 over the educational life span) and other publicly funded organizations that try to provide services today.
      • Further, the long-term costs savings of providing early intervention services have been estimated to be $2.5M per person over their lifetime by enabling people with autism to become contributing members of society rather than remaining dependent upon public assistance for the rest of their lives. It will reduce the financial burden on society.

 

Are Autism therapies proven to be effective?

  • There are evidence based therapies, including ABA, that are proven and effective. This has been documented through multiple scientific studies and ABA has been endorsed as an effective method for autism treatment by the US Surgeon General, the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics and The National Institute of Mental Health.

 

Is Autism an educational issue and be solved by the schools?

  • Autism is a recognized developmental disability and medical condition by the American Medical Association (AMA). Autism is a medical diagnosis, not an educational issue. It is diagnosed by a doctor, not a principal. Both diagnosis and treatment need to be performed by trained medical professionals.  The school systems don’t have, and shouldn’t be expected to have, the expertise to treat this medical condition. This situation results in higher costs in the public schools and ineffective treatments being delivered to people with autism.

 

This ‘mandate’ is a slippery slope and will open the door to a lot of other mandates

  • This is an argument that the insurance companies use all the time and it just doesn’t make sense.  This issue and all others should be evaluated on their own merits and that is what is happening with this bill and will happen with any future bills put before the legislature.

Omaha Events

Autism Society – Omaha Calendar of Events

AUTISM SOCIETY – OMAHA ONGOING EVENTS

Monthly Support and Bounce Night at PUMP IT UP (December 2nd)

Supportive Sundays (Every Sunday)

Recreation Club

Teen / Young Adult Club

AMC Theater hosts Sensory Friendly Movies
(this is in partnership with our national organization, the Autism Society of America)

AUTISM SOCIETY – SPOTLIGHT EVENTS

2013ipadgivaway

November 30th 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (Eligible for our iPad Giveaway!)
Adult Social Club – Dinner Out
Sponsored by the Autism Society’s Omaha Support Network

 

Sunday, December 1st (Eligible for our iPad Giveaway!)
Sensory Santa (RSVP required)
Sponsored by the Autism Society’s Omaha Support Network

 

Friday, December 13th 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Eligible for our iPad Giveaway!)
High School / Adult Social Club
Autism Center of Nebraska at 9012 Q Street
Sponsored by the Autism Society’s Omaha Support Network

 

Saturday, December 14th 4:00pm – 5:30pm
SIBLING Club – Pottery Event (More info coming soon)
Sponsored by the Autism Society’s Omaha Support Network

 

Sunday, December 15th (Eligible for our iPad Giveaway!)
Sensory Santa (RSVP required)
Sponsored by the Autism Society’s Omaha Support Network

 

Sunday, December 24th
Sensory Friendly Polar Express (RSVP required)
Sponsored by the Autism Society’s Omaha Support Network

 

Friday, December 27th
Teen / Adult Club goes Cosmic Bowling (More info coming soon)
Sponsored by the Autism Society’s Omaha Support Network

 

Tuesday, December 31st
New Year’s Eve Party (More info coming soon)
Sponsored by the Autism Society’s Omaha Support Network

 

OTHER OMAHA EVENTS AND NEWS

The Autism Society – Omaha works hard to serve our families and creates many events and educational opportunities for our community. Another way we seek to serve you is to help you stay informed about other community offerings in Omaha. The following events are not sponsored by the Autism Society but they are definitely something for you to check out!

ASD Network – Visit their web site HERE for upcoming training opportunities

PTI-Nebraska – Vist their web site HERE for upcoming training opportuniites

Autism Action Partnership Annual Summit – November 14, 2013

PRISM – Smooth and Steady Transitions – November 21, 2013

Omaha Photos

2013 Recreation Club

2013 Fall Barbecue and Movie Night

2013 Skating Nights

2013 Summer Pool Parties and Back to School Bash

2013 Summer PE Class

2013 Fire Safety Day

2013 Independence Day Barbecue and Fireworks

2013 Autism Puzzle Walk & 5K

2013 Easter Egg Hunt

 

2012 Autism Society – Omaha Event Photo Gallery

2011 Autism Society – Omaha Event Photo Gallery

2010 Autism Society – Omaha Event Photo Gallery

2009 Autism Society – Omaha Event Photo Gallery

2008 Autism Society – Omaha Event Photo Gallery

 

 

Omaha Groups

The Autism Society in Omaha has NO PAID staff and everything we do is done by volunteers. And almost all of those volunteers are parents whose children have autism! These generous souls have families, jobs and spend hours in many of the same waiting rooms that you do!

We are extremely thankful to our talented volunteers who have helped us create the amazing framework we have in place today. To learn more about your Omaha leadership you can visit our OMAHA LEADERSHIP COUNCIL page.

 

OMAHA LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

ADULT SOCIAL CLUB

TEEN SOCIAL CLUB

MIDDLE SCHOOL SOCIAL CLUB

ELEMENTARY SOCIAL CLUB

PRESCHOOL SOCIAL CLUB

SIBLING SOCIAL CLUB

RECREATION CLUB

momME

DADs

CAREGIVER SUPPORT NETWORK