PRESS RELEASE - July 12, 2019
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: On July 11, 2019, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed SB514, a healthcare bill which requires insurance companies to cover medically necessary therapies for children with developmental disabilities. While 49 states require coverage of therapies for children with an autism spectrum disorder, Missouri is only the 3rd state to expand this coverage to children with any disability.
Contact: Robyn Schelp, president of Missouri Disability Empowerment
Date: July 12, 2019
Governor Signs Law Expanding Autism Mandate to Include Children with All Disabilities
When Nathan Schelp was 9-mo-old, his parents Allen and Robyn Schelp learned that he had significant developmental delays due to a genetic disorder. Their insurance would not cover the expensive therapies he needed to learn basic skills like walking, talking, and feeding himself. Because of the high cost of therapies, Nathan was not able to get the therapies he needed.
On July 11, 2019, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed SB514, a healthcare bill which requires insurance to cover medically necessary therapies for children with developmental disabilities, so children like Nathan can get the therapies they require. Rep. Chuck Basye (R-Rocheport) and Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) were the bill sponsors.
“With this disability legislation becoming law, all children will now have access to much-needed therapies that will help them achieve success in their lives,” explained Basye. “These children deserve the chance to reach out for a piece of the American Dream. Now they have a better chance to achieve that possibility.”
Nathan was 2-yrs-old in 2010, when Missouri became the 20th state to pass an autism mandate requiring insurance to cover therapies for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Unfortunately, because Nathan has the diagnosis of a genetic disorder and not autism, this insurance mandate did not apply to him and he was not able to get the therapies he needed. Thanks to SB514, children with any disability will now be able to have insurance coverage for their therapies. While 49 states have autism mandates, Missouri is only the 3rd state to include all disabilities in their insurance mandate.
The grassroots effort to expand Missouri’s autism mandate was led by the Schelps and other Missouri families whose children would be impacted by the legislation. Together, these parents formed Missouri Disability Empowerment (MoDE). The legislation quickly gained bi-partisan support, taking only three years to get passed. “Passing the disability legislation was a team effort,” Basye said. “I’m proud that I was able to work with many House and Senate colleagues to get this accomplished. I’m convinced that we wouldn’t have been successful without the hard work of MoDE’s mothers and their children working the halls of the Missouri Capitol.”