On August 12, 2020, a virtual celebration was held marking 10 years since the Massachusetts passage of An Act Relative to Insurance Coverage For Autism (ARICA). ARICA mandates that all insurance carriers in the state provide patient coverage for therapies and ABA services of anyone diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The virtual celebration occurred on the Facebook Live page of the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. This foundation is both an inaugural and consistent funder of the AIRC. According to the Foundation’s social media sites, guests at the event included former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, former State Senator Barbara L’Italien, Red Sox Executive Larry Cancro, Advocates Judith Ursitti of Autism Speaks and Michael Borr of Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts (AFAM), among others.
ARICA was the brainchild of the Shriver Center’s own Amy Weinstock who was a LEND Fellow when she initially conceived of the project in 2005. (For more on the bill’s inception and passage, go to Page 14 in this PDF version of our final issue of our Shriver Center Spotlight newsletter. https://tinyurl.com/y626w6b9 (Web address has been shortened for space reasons)
Amy returned to the Shriver Center in 2011 to establish the Autism Insurance Resource Center (AIRC), which she continues to direct. Housed within the Shriver Center, the AIRC staff provides outreach, technical assistance and training for the autism community on issues related to insurance, serving thousands of individuals each year. AIRC staff also make presentations about insurance and related issues to school systems, community organizations, and other entities throughout Massachusetts.
An archived livestream of the tenth anniversary celebration event is still available by visiting https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=1215886552098194&ref=watch_permalink
Congratulations to ARICA supporters throughout Massachusetts and everyone at the AIRC for this tremendous achievement!