Heartland Health Monitor
5:04 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Kansas Lawmaker Wants To Adjust Law Mandating Autism Coverage

The Kansas House member who last session championed a bill that expanded insurance coverage for autism treatment said it may be adjusted in the upcoming legislative session.

Rep. John Rubin, a Shawnee Republican who was re-elected last week, said he will propose changes to House Bill 2744, which was a compromise struck between insurance companies and autism treatment advocates.

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7:06 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Insurance Coverage For Autism Set To Begin In Kansas

Insurance companies will begin covering autism services next January for a limited number of children in Kansas. A bill mandating such coverage has been signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback.

“So I am pleased to sign this bill today, expanding coverage for autism. This is an important moment for families that deal with the challenges of an autistic family member, and it’s important that we do this as a society," the governor said.

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6:20 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Autism Insurance Bill Heads To Kansas Governor

A bill awaiting Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s signature would require health insurance sold in the state to include coverage for autism services--at least in a limited fashion. 

The bill sent to the governor last week includes coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis. 

Representative John Rubin, of Shawnee, guided the bill through the House.  He says research shows ABA is the most effective form of therapy for a majority of kids with autism, but it needs to start in the preschool years…

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Central Standard
4:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Challenges For Autism Coverage Looming in Kansas

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) autism therapy often requires one-on-one instruction.
Credit Ministere du Travail, de I'Emploi et de la sante / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Autism advocates argue that legislation being considered in Kansas falls short of best practices for treating the disorder.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 88 children in the United States has autism

It’s a disorder that impairs a variety of verbal and non-verbal communication skills. For some, the effects can be mild, but for others, the symptoms can be so severe that they leave individuals unable to care for themselves.

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Central Standard
1:00 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Kansas Legislation For Autism Treatment Coverage And Applied Behavioral Analysis

At the beginning of 2014, Kansas House Bill 2531 was introduced. This bill proposes insurance coverage for autism therapy for children , but many believe the coverage is not sufficient.

On today's Central Standard we discuss what Kansas will do about the shortcomings of this bill and what the proposed solutions might be. Also, we explore exactly what ABA is and how the therapy works to improve behavioral issues in children with autism.


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Up To Date
11:09 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Parents Illustrate The Funny Side Of Autism In Kansas City Production

'An Evening With The Rents' runs 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at The Mission Theatre.

To call raising kids with with autism or autism spectrum disorder a challenge would probably be underselling it ... by quite a bit.

For many parents of kids with autism, maintaining a sense of humor is an essential component. Those experiences will be illustrated by some Kansas City area parents in An Evening with the Rents where they will deliver stand-up comedy routines centered around living with children on the spectrum.

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Up To Date
5:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Autism: A Tale Of Two Families

The artwork of 10-year old Elijah Nessel who has autism.

One of the problems of autism is that its origins are still fairly mysterious. But a more pressing, everyday concern for parents is how to pay for therapy for their children without going bankrupt.

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5:12 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

State Fines Aetna Over Autism, Abortion Coverage Violations

Aetna violated a 2001 state law when it provided coverage for contraceptives without allowing employers to opt out.
brains the head Flickr-CC

The Missouri Department of Insurance has issued its largest penalty to date, to health insurance company, Aetna. 

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Shots - Health Blog
2:39 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Children With Autism Are Often Targeted By Bullies

Abby Mahoney, 13, has Asperger's syndrome. She says she has memorized nearly everything there is to know about Star Wars. Her enthusiasm for the subject helped make her the target of a bullying boy.
Courtesy of the Mahoney family

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 8:42 am

Lots of kids get bullied. But kids with autism are especially vulnerable.

A new survey by the Interactive Autism Network found that nearly two-thirds of children with autism spectrum disorders have been bullied at some point. And it found that these kids are three times as likely as typical kids to have been bullied in the past month.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:08 pm
Sun April 8, 2012

Study Warns Of Autism Risk For Children Of Obese Mothers

A pregnant woman measures her stomach.

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 8:18 am

Scientists have found one more reason that pregnancy and obesity can be a bad combination.

A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that moms who are obese or have diabetes are more likely to have a child with autism or another developmental problem.

The finding is "worrisome in light of this rather striking epidemic of obesity" in the U.S., says Irva Hertz-Picciotto from the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis, one of the study's authors.

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4:31 pm
Sun April 8, 2012

Cochlear Implants Redefine What It Means To Be Deaf

A schoolboy with a cochlear implant listens to his teacher during lessons at a school for the hearing impaired in Germany. The implants have dramatically changed the way deaf children learn and transition out of schools for the deaf and into classrooms with non-disabled students.
Eckehard Schulz AP

Originally published on Sun April 8, 2012 4:32 pm

There was a time when a child born deaf had few choices. For more than a century, the only option for parents was to send their son or daughter away to a boarding school for the deaf. There, the children and the schools thrived in the shadows, embracing a distinct culture of silent communication.

Recent advances in medicine and technology are now reshaping what it means to be deaf in America. Children who could never hear a sound are now adults who can hear everything. That's having a dramatic impact on the nation's historic deaf schools as well as the lives of people.

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Up to Date
3:21 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

The Journal Of Best Practices

There comes a time in every marriage when many wives begin to wonder “What the heck is wrong with my husband’s brain?!”

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7:18 pm
Mon January 10, 2011

Missouri Starts Licensing Therapists Under New Autism Law

Kansas City, MO – Missouri's autism insurance mandate takes effect this month. The law requires insurance companies to cover autism therapies for children. The state's gearing up to license therapists to do the work, but as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, that process is just getting underway.

Missouri's new law requires state-regulated insurance companies to cover up to $40,000 a year in an intensive therapy, called applied behavioral analysis (ABA), for children up to the age of 18.

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5:26 pm
Fri June 11, 2010

It's Official: Autism Coverage To Be Mandated In Missouri

Springfield, Missouri – For families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, it's been a long time coming. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed into law a bill that requires insurance companies regulated by the state to provide coverage to children with autism. KSMU's Jennifer Moore attended the bill-signing press conference in Springfield yesterday and has this report.


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7:05 pm
Thu May 6, 2010

Revised Autism Bill Passes Missouri Senate

Jefferson City, Mo. – A revised bill that would require insurance companies to cover some of the cost of therapy for children with autism has passed the Missouri Senate.

The bill mandates that health insurance companies provide up to $45,000 a year in coverage for kids with autism age 18 and younger. That's $10,000 a year less than the original Senate bill, and it drops those ages 19 and 20 from being eligible.

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10:47 am
Fri April 2, 2010

Kansas Legislature Approves Pilot Program Mandating Autism Insurance Coverage

Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas legislature has approved a bill requiring autism coverage for state employees.

Senator Tim Owens is an Overland Park Republican who has two grandsons with autism. He says the bill's passage marks a big step forward.

"The state program is a very narrow program of individuals who are involved," says Owens. "But, I would hope that we can move faster than a year or two before that test case proves the value, and then we can open it up to the other families."

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Missouri Statehouse
3:54 pm
Thu March 18, 2010

Missouri Senate Passes Autism Bill

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has passed legislation requiring group insurance plans regulated by the state to cover autism treatment.

The Senate bill would mandate that companies cover up to $55,000 a year for treatment of autism patients younger than 21.

GOP Senator Scott Rupp of St. Charles County sponsored the legislation.

"We're doing our job in the state, the families are doing their job, the schools are doing their job," Rupp told lawmakers. "When, insurance industry, are you going to start doing yours?!?"

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