Autism care and support depends on many pieces of a puzzle, including adequate coverage of behavior therapy — the most effective form of therapy for individuals with autism. But Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois wants to reduce funding for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). A reduction in funding would be devastating. Blue Cross dominates the Illinois market — and has a strong influence on other health plans here. This decision to unfairly target the autism community with a major funding cut could trigger other health plans to reduce their funding, too.

We Need the Blue

The puzzle piece ribbon is the universal symbol for autism awareness. Autism touches a broad and diverse range of people, each with their unique care and support needs. The ribbon includes red, yellow, green — and blue. We need all of the pieces to form the puzzle of autism care and support, including health plans like Blue Cross. That’s why we are sending thousands of the multi-colored autism awareness ribbons — all without any trace of the color blue — to Blue Cross leadership to urge them to remain an essential partner for our children.

More than 3.5 Million Americans
Live with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has proven to be one of
the most effective forms of therapy for individuals with autism.

  • The Illinois insurance mandate, which ensures coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders for children under 21, was put into effect December 12, 2008.
  • Harvard researchers estimate that the added costs of autism-related healthcare and education average more than $17,000 per child per year in the United States.
  • In Illinois, there are hundreds of children on a waitlist already waiting to receive ABA services. BCBS’ rate reduction will result in significantly growing these waitlists every week.

While ABA therapies provide only one piece of the overall care for people with autism, any cut in funding would impact care. While there is no cure for autism, it takes a team of healthcare professionals to help people with autism live a healthy and fulfilling life. This decision to unfairly target the autism community with a major funding cut could trigger other health plans to reduce their funding, too.

A Reduction in Funding is Not the Answer.

Blue Cross’ support is an important piece of the puzzle. Without it, our children’s care just isn’t complete. Fill out the form below to send an autism awareness ribbon — one without any trace of the color blue — to the President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. Once you’ve ordered your ribbon, help spread the message by clicking on the social links below to share your story.