Following passage of a new state law requiring health insurance coverage of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is calling upon the county Board of Commissioners to add coverage of such disorders to the health care plans for all full-time eligible county employees.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Patterson said in a press release. “Parents who face the challenges of raising a child with autism should not be faced with the question of whether they can access the resources available to help their child.”
Overall, the estimated additional cost to the county is expected to be minimal. The only employees affected by the new state law are those covered by HAP since the county self-insures, the press release states.
If approved by the 25-member board, which has a 15-10 Republican majority, the county’s health insurance policies would cover applied behavior analysis, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and nutritional counseling for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, which the Centers for Disease Control estimates affects one in every 88 American children, according to the release.
Commissioner John Scott (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield), who chairs the county board’s Human Resources Committee to which the resolution has been referred, said he expects smooth sailing for the measure.
“If there’s a law that says we have to have it, then we would do it,” he said.
The new state law, Public Acts 99 and 100 of 2012, went into effect for insured medical plans on Monday, Oct. 15.
The enacting legislation, Senate Bills 414 and 414, had broad bipartisan support from co-sponsors of both parties in the state’s upper legislative chamber, including from state Sen. Mike Kowall (R-Commerce, Highland, Milford Township, Milford Village, Walled Lake, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, White Lake, Orchard Lake, West Bloomfield).