Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson lauded the Board of Commissioners today after it unanimously approved a miscellaneous resolution to add Autism Spectrum Disorders coverage to the health care benefits of all full time eligible county employees. Oakland County's health insurance policies will now cover applied behavior analysis, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and nutritional counseling for those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
"This additional health coverage will provide peace of mind to employees who face the challenge of raising a child with autism," Patterson said. "Kudos to the Board of Commissioners for passing my recommendation."
The law recently passed by the State of Michigan mandating Autism Spectrum Disorders coverage only impacted county employees who carry Health Alliance Plan (HAP) because the county self-insures. There are 2,843 employees in the county's self-insured pool; and 154 who have HAP. Blue Cross Blue Shield, the administrator of the county's self-insured pool, estimates the additional cost to the county's balanced three-year budget will be $139,000 for Fiscal Year 2013. No additional appropriations are needed because the county's various wellness initiatives such as OakFit have created enough savings in the existing health care fund to cover the cost.
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.
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