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Thursday, May 2, 2013

An Important Call to Action from Massachusetts Advocates for Children



IMPORTANT AUTISM ALERT

Call your State Senator Now

Ask them to Support an Increase for the
Children’s Autism Medicaid Waiver  
(Line item #5920-3010)

The Commonwealth’s Autism Commission has recommended increasing capacity and funding for the Children’s Autism Medicaid Waiver to serve 500 children. 

We propose that the Commonwealth provide an additional $2 million ($5 million total) in FY14 as a first step toward reaching that goal. The state will receive federal reimbursement for 50% of the cost of these services, making the actual cost to the Commonwealth $2.5 million. The House allocated $4 million to the program this year.

Additional funding for the Children’s Autism Medicaid Waiver will: 

Ø  Increase the number of low-income young children with ASD that receive intensive in-home services (ABA, floor time, etc.) through the Medicaid Waiver.   Research demonstrates that children with autism who receive intensive in-home services can make substantial progress, and in some instances acquire skills within typically developing ranges. 

Ø  Help more low-income children and their families receive coverage for services now covered under private insurance as a result of the Autism Insurance law (ARICA)

Ø  Maximize Federal funds flowing into the state since the Commonwealth will receive federal reimbursement for 50% of the cost of Autism Waiver services. 

Ø  Enhance cost savings measures.  Cost-benefit analysis has shown that if children with autism receive intensive services at a young age, the savings over time are significant.  Estimated cost savings ranging from $187,000 to $203,000 per child ages 3-22 years, and a total lifetime savings range of 1 to 2 million dollars.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Ø  IMMEDIATELY call or e-mail your Senator and ask them to support a $2 million increase (total $5 million) in funding for the Children’s Autism Medicaid Waiver (line item #5920-3010 ).

Ø  To find your Senator go to  www.wheredoivotema.com   

Ø  Let them know how important this funding is for your children or children you know. Give examples of how services can make a difference in a child’s life

Ø  For more information, please contact Tina Fitanides at 617-357-8431 x 244, or tfitanides@massadvocates.org.

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