More needs to be done to eliminate barriers and improve access to insurance coverage for all Massachusetts residents who have autism, Amy Weinstock, director of the Autism Insurance Resource Center at UMass Medical School’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, and Daniel Shannon, executive director of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, stated in an editorial in The MetroWest Daily News April 19.
As we celebrate Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month in April, we should celebrate the progress that has been made in awareness and acceptance, Weinstock and Shannon said. A Massachusetts law has helped people access treatments for autism and, together with intervention services and education, have made Massachusetts one of the best states to live in for those who have autism. But Weinstock and Shannon pointed out that not every individual and family reach out for information and services, and more must be done to improve access for everyone who has autism.
The Autism Insurance Resource Center at the Shriver Center, a unit within UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division, helps parents and caregivers with children on the autism spectrum identify and access health insurance resources for services that treat autism. The resource center also is available to providers, employers, and educators on issues related to medical insurance for autism treatment.