Just sharing our frustrations with Kaiser Insurance.
Our twin son, Cameron, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) shortly after they turned 4 years old. As if that wasn't a blow, but to find out that the insurance we've had for many YEARS and have rarely ever used, slams the door on our son's face when we need it the most.
Under our health insurance plan via my husbands employer, they'll cover you if you have AIDS, Cancer, or Diabetes, all of which have NO absolute cure, BUT THEY DISCRIMINATE those diagnosed with ASD. Kaiser Insurance is provided through my husband's employer of which has over 55,000 employees. Fortunately his employer's company policy does NOT deny health care coverage of pre-existing conditions to it's employees, therefore we can NOT be denied coverage from Kaiser. However, dealing with Kaiser and what they pull is a whole different story.
In our state of Oregon, we now have Oregon Mental Health Parity Effective Jan 1 2008, HB 2918, Parity for Pervasive Developmental Disorders:
"(b)Pervasive development disorder" means a neurological condition that includes: Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, developmental delay, developmental disability, or mental retardation."
(c) "Rehabilitation services" means physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy services to restore or improve function.
READ more about HB2918 HERE (pdf)
Apparently, under this mandated law, insurance companies in Oregon are NOT allowed to discriminate and MUST provide therapies, but some how Kaiser Insurance is above Oregon's mandated law. And Kaiser is not the only one pulling this in Oregon. What good is this law when insurance companies disregard it and poor working families like ours can't afford a lawyer to fight this?
We waited MONTHS for appointments with Kaiser's Developmental Assessment Clinic (DAC) which only turned out to be very expensive run around's that led to absolutely NO therapy or help at all for our son.
Kaiser still has NOT provided any therapy for Cameron. Instead they tried very hard to sell us on giving our NON aggressive son at age 4 years old DRUGS-- ie: RITALIN before he was given ANY chance with therapy!
And because of KAISER recommending (pushing us off onto) something WE'VE never heard of before, is why Cameron WAS enrolled in Early Intervention (EI). However it was for only 3 days a week, 2 hours a day. He was only in it for 66 hours before it ended. But beggars can't be choosers. The twins have started Kindergarten in Sept 2008 at a school 30 minutes drive from our home. Again, beggars can't be choosers especially when we can't afford therapy privately and public schools can only do so much on a shoe string budget.
I ask you, how fair is this? How fair is this to Cameron and those like him?
These kids deserve BETTER TREATMENT than this from insurance companies and NOT to be tossed aside and given DRUGS as the only solution to this very serious growing problem!
Our health care system across the USA is seriously broken in more ways than one for many and sadly the lobbyists, insurance and big pharma companies are controlling this while many suffer.
Please also check out the video link below. THIS video below is what MANY are facing and dealing with across the USA. Insurance will NOT help, and our public school system is over crowded with these children. It's truly a nightmare!
If you have 4 minutes, please watch this video called:
Change Her World
I love Oregon (lived here all my life), but after watching a video news report regarding RYAN's LAW in SC , I now wish we lived in South Carolina just to get the proper therapy for Cameron. Watch this CNN report HERE
*NOTE: And NO--I am NOT into Scientology! I just want help and therapy for our son and NOT given RITALIN as the only solution! Now if our son had or develops seizures (which many children with ASD can develop going into the puberty years) then YES we would have him on the proper anti-seizure drugs and would continue to find the right one for him.
Thank you for reading/watching my rant
Oregon isn't the only US state having problems with Autism and insurance