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Patterson Asks Commissioners to Extend Autism Coverage to County Employees

Public Date: 10/22/2012 12:00 AM
Contact: Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer
Phone Number: 248-858-1048

Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has asked the Board of Commissioners to approve a miscellaneous resolution to add Autism Spectrum Disorders coverage to the health care benefits of all full time eligible county employees. The law recently passed by the State of Michigan mandating Autism Spectrum Disorders coverage only impacted county employees who have HAP because the county self-insures. The additional cost to the county's balanced three-year budget is expected to be minimal.

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It's the right thing to do," Patterson said. "Parents who face the challenges of raising a child with autism should not be faced with the question of whether they can access the resources available to help their child."

Oakland County's health insurance policies will cover applied behavior analysis, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and nutritional counseling for those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately one in 88 American children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition, the CDC says early diagnosis and intervention can lead to improved outcomes.

The Board of Commissioners Human Resources Committee is expected to take up Patterson's request at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 in Committee Room A, 1200 North Telegraph, in Pontiac.

For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at 248-858-1048.