February 25, 2021
Senator Anthony Portantino
State of California State Capitol, Room 5050 Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 562 – Strong Support
Dear Senator Portantino,
I write in support of your legislation, SB 562, whose goal is equitable access for care for all families from all communities and all parts of the economy in California.
When SB 946 was passed in 2011, the intent was for all Californians with Autism to receive health insurance coverage for the care most appropriate for their particular circumstances. Autism doesn't impact every individual in the same way. And individuals with Autism react to behavioral health treatment in different ways. What is right for one individual may be very wrong for another. For any child to reach their full potential they need the medically necessary evidence-based form of behavioral health treatment that is the best fit for their own family culture and values.
Although there is good research that supports several different styles of care, from structured behavioral to relationship-based approaches, health insurance companies are limiting these choices. Families must either accept treatment that is not right for them, try to have regional centers pay for better fitting treatment, or pay out of pocket for services that are supposed to be covered by their health insurance that they or their employers have already paid for. This is especially unfair to people of color, poor and working families, and others without access to the necessary resources to challenge health policy denials. This is contrary to California statutes and the best interests of the patient.
SB 562 can provide all California families with equitable access to the care that is best for them, saving precious time for children and saving money for the State, for families, and even for health insurance companies who will no longer waste money on treatments that do not fit the child or family.