Advocates, it’s coming down to the final weeks before a break in the session. We need our bills voted on and passed from committees.
Please act today in support of H128/S97. This bill will require MassHealth to cover medically essential treatments, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services, for adults with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) or autism, and also includes language for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) coverage. Children with autism or IDD often fall off a cliff when they become adults and suddenly lose access to the treatments and services that have helped them maintain their health and safety.
MassHealth currently only covers ABA services for individuals until they turn 21. ABA is one of the most effective treatments for people with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. It allows them to learn to communicate, to care for themselves, and to keep safe.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. AAC devices are beneficial in behavior therapy, as they allow individuals to express emotion and understand how to adjust their behavior to improve their overall health.
Please send The Arc’s action alert letter to your Representative and Senator, and if possible, follow up with a call to their office. Ask them to contact the Chairs of Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities and request that the bills be passed favorably.
Thank you for your advocacy over the past few weeks on the Workforce bills. Let’s keep up the momentum to secure that H128/S97, a priority for The Arc and Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts, moves forward!