Thursday, May 22, 2008

ASHA Advocacy Leads to Release of Speech Device Insurance Funding for Autism By Blue Cross

I received an email from our West Coast Tango representative today linking me to the ASHA (American Speech and Hearing) website to read an article from April 15, that will effect the Pacific Northwest and Blue Cross Insurance funding AAC devices for Autism. It has positive ramifications that might effect you too.
Here is the article: "Regional Carrier Covers AAC"

It discusses the reversal of an exclusionary practice of not accepting the use of AAC devices for autism because Autism isn't clinically a "speech disorder". The insurance carrier considered the practice "investigational" and were not considering it as a reimbursable claim. Due to the successful advocacy efforts of ASHA, that decision has been reversed by Premera Blue Cross of Washington and Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska.
I wonder what this will mean for other states or other insurance carriers that have been exclusionary too concerning this. If AAC for autism has been an issue with most insurance companies, then maybe this will start a trend that will begin to break down those exclusionary barriers. I see speech devices as a huge support to folks with autism and I am glad to see some victories for those that need AAC devices.
Our Assistive Technology Blog Carnival is accepting submissions on "Synthesized Speech" through Friday P.M. , May 23rd. It will be up on the AT Blog Carnival blog site Monday, May 26. If you have a post for us please submit it to me at:
Start a Blog Contest is on...entires will be in a drawing sponsored by "Learning Magic" to win a free program of your choice from their catalog of products. Check out the rules above on the side bar here on the blog and send me your link to enter!
All the best to you!

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