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Columbia, Co, SC: Advocates first to push for autism insurance coverage

Jan 25, 2024, WISTV, Columbia SC: Serving and supporting people with autism spectrum disorder

We now turn to a call for advocacy and awareness for a community that can often be overlooked here in South Carolina and nationwide.


One team realized just how many gaps there are in services here in the midlands, especially for those who are on the spectrum of autism.


Now the team over at the Unumb Center for Neurodevelopment is working to help those with autism reach their full potential by providing the proper services and collaborative solutions. …

We are delighted to have them in our studio tonight … Founder and board chair of the Unumb Center for Neurodevelopment, Lorri Unumb is here with us, a mom who knows firsthand the impact here… Your husband is here as well. …


And state representative, Nathan Ballentine, who’s been a big supporter….


Lorri: Our firstborn son was diagnosed with autism… 20 years ago when he was also two years old.


At that time the doctors told us what to do for him, but we couldn’t get the insurance coverage to cover the therapy that he needed. That kind of launched us into an advocacy battle to get better services and better access to care for children with autism. …


We had the idea that if you’re paying for health insurance, your health insurance ought to pay for the therapy your child with autism needs.


We couldn’t make that happen without the help of our friends in the legislature.

Nathan, I don’t think you knew much about autism as all…


So many children who haven’t had access to care before, now do.


So right now we now have all 50 states have some form of coverage mandated for kids with autism, basically what their doctor has prescribed. …


All 50 states now have Medicaid coverage for autism…


And it all started here in South Carolina.


We are so far ahead of many areas in the world who don’t have that coverage. …

Still work to be done, especially with understanding of autism, of course the prevalence of it….



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