Noriko Kantake Testifies on HB598 and SB381-Autism Insurance Legislation



IPAC board member Noriko Kantake, a parent and President of the Autism Society of SE Ohio, testified in both House Health and Aging Committee and Senate Health, Human Service and Aging Committee when the 129th Ohio General Assembling met in December, 2012 to hear Proponent and Opponent testimony for Autism Insurance.

Noriko testified about how the lack of autism therapy coverage can negatively affect a family and how applied behavior analysis (ABA) can make a positive impact for a child with autism. Her testimony tells a moving story about the realities of living with autism in a region that lacks the resources of serving children and families with autism therapies, and who must travel at least two hours to get these therapies if they can afford them.

She also asserts in her testimony that if the legislation passes and health insurance covers autism therapies, many therapists will find business opportunities in Southeastern Ohio and the region will be positively impacted by this measure.

Click Here for Testimony

HB598/SB381 will amend SB116, the Mental Health Parity legislation which passed the Ohio General Assembly in 2006 and specifies that mental health disorders should be covered by health insurers as a "basic health care service" in Ohio.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) were not included in the definition of mental health disorders (also known as "biologically based mental illnesses") and the new measure would amend the existing statue to include ASDs in the definition of biologically based mental illness, thereby including it as a basic health care service to be covered by health insurers in Ohio.

Although the bills did not make it to the chamber floors for a vote in this session, they will be reintroduced by the bill's sponsors in the next sessions and progress was made to move forward this legislation.

Thank you to Noriko for her continued involvement in this worthy advocacy for children and families of our region and state.