Dear Autism Community Friends,
Last year, many of you joined with virtually every autism organization in California to support Senate leader Darrell Steinberg’s bill to require insurers to cover behavioral treatment for people with autism spectrum disorders. Together, we won. The bill takes effect July 1.
Now we need your help to be sure the bill is implemented as Senator Steinberg and all of us intended.
Over the last couple of months, we heard about some potential problems. That wouldn’t be surprising with a change as big as this bill. So we let Senator Steinberg know the concerns that we’d heard, and I met with his staff about them yesterday. They asked us for specifics so that Senator Steinberg can follow up to make sure that no one loses any services they need on July 1.
Please email me as soon as possible if you have been told by anyone from your regional center that you may lose any service not covered by insurance, or that your services will change in any negative way as a result of the bill. While we haven’t been able to confirm the reports we’ve received to date, we want to get ahead of any problems associated with this new law so that it is as successful as we all hoped it would be.
To protect your privacy, I will take out all names, email addresses, and any other identifying information before I pass anything on to Senator Steinberg or anyone else. No one but me will know who you are.
The Lanterman Act makes the regional centers “the payer of last resort.” If a service is in your individual program plan (IPP) or individualized family service plan (IFSP) and no insurer or anyone else is providing for it, the regional center will. The Steinberg bill makes it clear that nothing in the bill changes that.
But as we all know, it takes vigilance and determination to make sure that California keeps the Lanterman Act promise.
Thank you for your advocacy.
PS. Please forward this to anyone you know in the autism community who might want to contribute any information.
Public Policy Director
The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy in California
1225 Eighth Street, Suite 350
Sacramento, CA 95814