By Natalie Fultz
COLUMBUS- About 30,000 people in Georgia have autism, and Georgia is one of only 16 states that does not require insurance companies to cover autism. Thousands of people have signed a petition, and they aren't stopping until Ava's Law is passed.
Since 2009, Anna Bullard has been fighting for her daughter and for every other child in the state who has autism. She wants to see every child in Georgia covered through insurance to receive autism treatment, treatment that has proven to improve the lives of those with autism.
"This is a matter of quality of life, and it's not okay to keep putting it off and letting these insurance companies be the winner," Bullard says.
Currently only military families and some large companies across the state provide coverage. Governor Deal has recommended the state employee health plan to cover treatment in 2015, but still this leaves a large sector of the state without coverage.
"We should not have categories in our state that people who of not fault of their own or the child's who has autism. They pay insurance premiums, but they can't access the treatment because insurance companies are denying the claims," Bullard says.
Applied Behavioral Analysis can cost families up to $5,000 a month. So why the opposition? Well, insurance premiums may go up, but Bullard says not like you would think.
"Missouri, they did a two year study and the average cost per member per month was 22 cents," Bullard says
Within the next 14 days, the insurance committee will decide if they will conduct a vote. If they do, and it passes, it would be one step closer for all people in Georgia with autism to have care.
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