Last year, Massachusetts residents who:
- Had a child (or children) with autism, and
- Had MassHealth as their ONLY form of insurance
were given a small window of time in which they could sign up for their child with autism to receive Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, an insurance which IS subject to ARICA laws (Yep, MassHealth is somehow immune to ARICA laws. Explain the logic behind that one–a law that was WRITTEN in Massachusetts, forcing Massachusetts’ insurance companies to provide autism coverage, is not honored by Massachusetts’ Medicaid? Hmmm . . . ).
This was so far beyond irritating for my family because we happened to fall into a GIGANTIC crack in the system. Despite the fact that we:
- Have a child with autism, and
- Have MassHealth as his SECONDARY insurance
we did not meet the criteria for this program. Oh, but it gets better. Our PRIMARY health insurance is Blue Cross Blue Shield . . . of OHIO–a state that does not have autism insurance coverage and does not need to abide by the insurance laws of another state. So despite the fact that both of my son’s primary and secondary insurance companies don’t cover autism services, we were not eligible to sign up for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. And to be on the safe side I emailed one of the women who helped create the ARICA law, just to make sure there was no loophole around this completely unfair criteria that the state of Massachusetts had written. There wasn’t.
However, she said that perhaps next year the criteria would be changed to include families like mine. That seemed hopeful, but I had completely forgotten about it until I got this email from Children’s Hospital Boston:
So what is “this document” mentioned in the email? Here it is!
SO YOU’VE GOT UNTIL MARCH 31, 2014 TO ENROLL. If you meet the criteria and decide not to enroll, I will be forced to conclude that YOU ARE INSANE. Seriously, why wouldn’t you take advantage of this program?!