The landscape of health insurance has dramatically changed over the course of 2016, with many companies, such as Unitedhealthcare, leaving the individual market in Indiana. Unfortunately, there are fewer choices for 2017, which makes it more important to begin shopping early.
A health insurance plan covering ABA services is necessary for any family who has a child with autism and wishes to access therapy. For those that may not currently have health insurance, or have group coverage that does not offer coverage for ABA therapy, now is the time to enroll.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a new way for families to enroll in insurance – it’s called open enrollment. This is a yearly period when individuals can enroll in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. To obtain insurance coverage for 2017, you must purchase a policy between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017. While you may purchase a policy anytime during this period, the earliest the plan will be effective is January 1, 2017.
The Insurance Department at Lighthouse Autism Center has been working diligently with an insurance broker to identify plans that will most benefit families with autism. To learn more or inquire about purchasing a policy, you can contact Lighthouse Insurance Manger, Michele Rohyans, at 574-387-4313 or email@example.com.
When asked how Lighthouse can help families, Sandy Maggioli said, “We will help families find a policy that is right for them and even help them apply for grants to cover their out-of-pocket expenses. it is our goal to help families in any way we can, starting with the insurance process.”
Genetic Research Could Lead to Earlier Autism Diagnosis
In an article published in Behavior Genetics, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negeg (BGU) say they’re closer to understanding the genetic basis of autism. The researchers found distinct characteristics in genes associated with autism that distinguish them from other brain-specific genes. They believe this will allow the identification of additional autism genes, leading to an earlier diagnosis of autism.
“We are now a step closer to understanding the genes associated with autism and understanding the biological process involved in the disease,” says Dr. idan Menashe, who along with his colleagues, Erez Tsur and Professor Michael Friger, is a member of the BGU Department of Public Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
One particularly distinct characteristic of autism genes the researchers found is their exceptional genomic length, which is longer than other brain-expressed genes of closely related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.
“Our findings suggest that ASD genes have evolved under complex evolutionary forces, which have left a unique signature that can be used to identify new ASD candidate genes,” the researchers add.
The holiday season is quickly approaching, and here at Lighthouse Autism Center we are already focused on how we’ll give back to our families, employees, and community.
In November, we will host our biannual “Parent’s Day Out” where Lighthouse Autism Center remains open on Saturday with staff who volunteer to give their time to our families. Parents are invited to drop off all of their children – and not just those who attend our center – and take the evening to do some holiday shopping, go to a movie, or simply relax. As a parent of a child with autism, I know how welcome and appreciated this is by our families.
Employees will have the opportunity to participate in an all-staff Christmas Party at the Oaks. This allows employees from all of our centers to come together and enjoy a potluck dinner, music, games and prizes. After a year of hard work and dedication to our center and the children we serve, it’s our goal to recognize our employees and show them how appreciated they truly are.
Finally, we feel it is important to give back to our local community during the holiday season. We will continue our tradition of adopting several families in need and providing gifts and essentials for them through what we call our “Giving Tree.” Employees and families at all centers come together to purchase clothing, food, household items, toiletries, toys and gifts. We wrap and deliver these items to our adopted families in an effort to give back to those less fortunate.