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Support of Core Operations – Insurance Resource Center for Autism and Behavioral Health

Through this three-year grant, the NLM Family Foundation supports the core operations of the Insurance Resource Center for Autism and Behavioral Health, a trusted team of professionals from the UMass Chan Medical School’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center who provide information, technical assistance, training, and guidance for families, providers, clinicians, employers, educators, and others on issues related to medical insurance for autism and behavioral health treatments. This funding will be used to focus on serving the growing numbers of adults with autism that the Center serves.  The insurance needs of this population are broad, ranging from technical assistance navigating the transition to adulthood, the migration of insurance coverage from private insurance to Medicaid/Medicare, as well as the impact of employment, retirement, etc. on coverage. The Center has received increased requests from siblings of adults with autism, who are often assisting and/or succeeding their parents and seek the Center out for information and support to understand and navigate insurance for their autistic siblings. These siblings are often unfamiliar with the systems of care, requiring a higher level of assistance. In addition, many are referred to the Center when the aging sibling with ASD is facing a health crisis, and/or struggling to get appropriate supports in an acute or sub-acute setting where there is a lack of familiarity and/or awareness of ASD. This grant will help the Center to increase the supports and resources for this growing population through increased outreach and collaborations with organizations that serve and/or are starting to serve this population, as well as developing additional insurance-related resources to enhance the Center’s technical assistance capabilities.