Feds Increase Benefits For Autism, Major Win For Advocates

On July 7th, Federal officials ruled that all states must increase Medicaid coverage for autistic children.  This will now include Applied Behavior Analysis, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical equipment, and personal care services.  Previously, many states Medicaid denied these types of services, and the lawsuits grew.

According to the feds, every state must include these services in what is known as the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program (EPSDTP).  Every state must provide these services from birth to 21.  For parents of autistic children and their advocates, this is a huge victory.  This puts national standards ahead of what the states cherry pick in terms of services.

The new guidelines are posted on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (or Medicaid & CHIP services): http://www.medicaid.gov/Federal-Policy-Guidance/Downloads/CIB-07-07-14.pdf

The link goes on with an estimate from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that 1 in 68 children have autism, so the new guidelines come at a critical time for American families.

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