Councilman Allen Looks to Help Autistic Locals With Treatment Expenses
Councilman Charles Allen of Ward 6 has introduced a bill that would require all health insurers in D.C. to pay for autism treatments that doctors say are necessary.
The Health Insurance Coverage for Autism and Other Special Needs Amendment Act, which Allen offered yesterday, would let almost 150,000 more autistic children and adults receive therapy that currently isn’t covered by insurance plans, without out-of-pocket costs. Right now, only 81,000 residents have insurance that pays for the treatments, according to Allen’s office.
“Early therapeutic treatment . . . makes a significant impact on reducing symptoms and improving the quality of life and educational opportunities,” the Capitol Hill-area councilman said in a statement. “Many insurance plans do not provide for appropriate therapeutic treatment, leaving families to bear extreme out of pocket costs — as high as $60,000 per year — or forgo this successful and necessary treatment.”
At-Large councilmembers Vincent Orange and Elissa Silverman and councilmembers Brandon Todd of Ward 4 and Brianne Nadeau of Ward 1 joined Allen in introducing the legislation.