For families dealing with Autism there can be many challenges.  One of those challenges in mental health insurance.  Here is an option you might find helpful. 


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December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays from MHAIP!!

Then end of the year is upon us, it has been an exciting year filled with many surprises. May your holiday season be restful and happy. Enjoy the down time, and be ready to gear up for an active and exiting 2017!!

Open Enrollment Period-Affordable Care Act-Act Now

If you have an insurance plan (through an employer or elsewhere) that does not provide the benefits your family members need, now is the time to purchase a plan on the ACA exchange. Some families with children with autism may have self-insured plans that do not provide needed treatments. If this is your situation, and you live in a blue state (see map below), you may want to purchase a child-only plan on the exchange. If you plan on using more than 10 hours a week of ABA, you may want to purchase a Platinum level plan, as there are no deductibles and the out of pocket annual costs are lower. It is important to know with all the changes on the horizon, that ACA plans will be in effect for the 2017 year.   

Blue States include ABA as an essential health benefit in the Health Exchange 

Map courtesy of Autism Speaks

You are in a “grandfathered health plan” if the plan covered you or your family on

March 23, 2010 and has largely remained the same since then, or if your employer has not made significant changes since then. You can find out whether your plan is grandfathered by checking the plan materials or asking your insurer or employer. If you have a grandfathered plan and a child with a significant mental health condition, and you expect that your child may need substantial mental health treatment in the coming year, now is the time to purchase a plan for that child. New plans will all have the protection of the Federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and must provide intermediate forms of treatment, including residential, partial hospital, and intensive outpatient care.   

End of year is time for Giving and Reflection

We at MHAIP have had a busy and exciting year. Some of the things that we have done with your generous donations include:   

Fielding your questions via phone and e-mail from families and providers. We get approximately 2 phone calls and 2 e-mails a day from the general public. We make an effort to return every phone call and e-mail that we get.

Working on a new website with updated information –it should be unveiled early in the new year.  

Giving over 20 presentations in the community and at relevant conferences, training families, providers, family resource workers, physicians and others on how to work with insurance.  

Building a network of skilled attorneys with whom we consult and hand off challenging cases.

Helping families with Medicaid access behavioral health services and speech therapy.

Working with attorneys to help make Wilderness programs a covered benefit. 

In the new year, we want to continue all of these important projects as well as work with legislators at both the state and federal level, to make sure that important aspects of health care reform that have helped our families, remain part of the law.  

If any of these things are important to you, please contribute!!!


Holiday shopping is easy with Amazon’s Holiday Gift Guides. Click on below image and begin shopping for your holiday gifts—Amazon will donate to Autism Health Insurance Project Inc.(select us as your charity).   

You can also always donate through through the Pay Pal link below or on our website.   


We are excited to be a part of several employer based fundraising programs this year. Through these programs, you can donate to our organization easily through payroll deductions set up with your employer. CA state employees may donate here through the CA state campaign, or with our code 29208. We are also a recognized cause through the corporate employer-matching philanthropic site Benevity (as Mental Health and Autism Insurance Project). We are a write in charity (as Autism Health Insurance Project) through the United Way of the Bay Area.

 We appreciate your support! 

Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy Holiday Season! 


Karen Fessel

Executive Director & Founder

Mental Health & Autism Insurance Project

Mental Health & Autism Insurance Project | |

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Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Mental Health and Autism Insurance Project

346 Rheem Blvd

Suite 207 D

 Moraga CA 94556


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