February 15, 2014 - Interview in the News & Observer's Triangle Mom2Mom Feature
Meet: Bridget Mora
February 15, 2014 - Radio Interview on Carolina Connection: Families Fight for Autism CoverageDid you know that 34 states + the District of Columbia have passed autism insurance reform laws? Did you know that North Carolina is not one of them?
I wrote an op-ed for The Charlotte Observer about the need for autism insurance two years ago, and unfortunately we are still awaiting a law in this state. Listen to my radio interview on Carolina Connection to hear the latest in the fight for autism coverage in North Carolina.
May 30, 2013 - Article published on CNN.com about the reaction of the public to autistic behaviors:
|Writer Bridget Mora's 5-year-old son, Holden, is one of an estimated 1-in-88 children in the United States who has autism.|
Opinion: Let's talk about autism in public spaces
(CNN) -- Ashley Bays took her toddler into M Spa Salon in Portage, Michigan, for a simple haircut but left with a "severe tongue lashing," according to a witness whose Facebook post about the event went viral.
March 28, 2012 - Op-ed published in Charlotte Observer about the importance of enacting autism insurance reform in North Carolina:
N.C. lagging on insurance for autism
Special to the Observer
According to the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, the rate of autism in North Carolina is 1 in 97, above the national rate of one in 110. Yet North Carolina lags behind 29 other states in the U.S. that have already passed autism insurance reform laws.
It is time for the North Carolina legislature to follow the lead of neighboring states like South Carolina and Virginia, and pass the autism insurance reform bills which are languishing in committees (House Bill 826 and Senate Bill 115).
An estimated 1.5 million Americans have an autism spectrum disorder, but most Americans have no understanding of what it is. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects brain function, emotional development, and social interaction. It affects every facet of daily living, including the ability to communicate, succeed in school, hold a job, maintain friendships, and live independently.
While autism is not curable, it is treatable, especially with early diagnosis and treatment. The American Academy of Pediatrics stresses that intervention in children as young as 18 months old can dramatically improve lifetime prognosis.
Individuals with autism in North Carolina currently face discrimination by health insurance policies that specifically exclude treatment for autism and developmental disabilities. Because state law does not mandate coverage, most companies deny coverage.
To the families of the more than 50,000 individuals with autism in North Carolina, this is an outrageous exception to medically necessary health coverage. Would we accept it if other chronic medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, or heart conditions were excluded from treatment?
With appropriate intervention, many children with autism can grow to be independent adults who contribute to society and have a meaningful quality of life. Without intervention, individuals are far more likely to require lifetime support from their families, the school system, and the government.
Later life can be filled with employment and social difficulties for adults as they age. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 only 28.6 percent of individuals aged 16 to 64 with a disability were in the labor force. The lost productivity and earning potential costs everyone.
The cost of therapy for autism is more than a typical family or individual can afford, up to $50,000 per year. Parents have a reasonable right to expect that their health insurance premiums will cover necessary services for their children, something which the Coverage For Treatment of Autism Disorders bill would address.
Insurance lobbyists have tried to use scare tactics to convince state legislatures that the cost of adding autism coverage to existing health plans would increase premiums by 1 to 3 percent for all subscribers. However, studies have proved that to be false. In states that have tracked the costs of claims following the enactment of autism insurance laws, the average premium increase is only 31 cents per month. For less than the cost of an apple a month, North Carolina’s children with autism can be helped. Even that cost will be overwhelmingly paid back to society by productivity.
The current versions of the Coverage For Treatment of Autism Disorders bills were introduced to the North Carolina General Assembly in 2010 by a coalition of autism advocates, state legislators, and organizations. Legislators across the state need to know the importance of the Coverage For Treatment of Autism Disorders bill, and vote to end discrimination against people with autism.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/03/28/3131573/nc-lagging-on-insurance-for-autism.html#storylink=cpy