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Autism Speaks calls for congressional mandate on healthcare coverage

When readers of our blog think about autism they not only think about what the disability actually is, but they probably also think about the fact that it is covered by Social Security Disability. But though our Texas readers know this information, many other families across the rest of the nation may not. And with many insurance companies refusing to cover autism under their plans, many families are finding themselves in financial hardship with little way out.

Such is the case for a myriad of families who have watched their savings dwindle, forcing them into bankruptcy, all because medical costs are not covered under their insurance plans. In states such as Utah, at least two dozen families in the last three years have even been forced to surrender their children to the state because they couldn't afford to take care of them anymore.

It's a cry for help that the organization Autism Speaks has heard loud and clear and is now attempting to do something about it. With April being National Autism Awareness Month, the organization will use this as a springboard to get their message to legislators that something needs to be done when it comes to healthcare coverage. They are pushing for Congress to issue a mandate to all companies not under state jurisdiction to authorize care for autistic children in all 50 states.

It's surprising to some that while the Social Security Administration recognizes autism as a mental disability and offers benefits to people who qualify, a majority of health insurance plans do not. It's in situations such as this that people often seek legal representation in order to get help obtaining the benefits they need and deserve.

Source: ABC News, "Autism Bankrupts Families, Emotionally and Financially," Susan Donaldson James, April 2, 2013

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