Hawaii Parents Special Education Advisory Council (HIP SEAC)

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S.B. 791, S.D. 1, H.D. 2, C.D. 1 – Requires health insurance companies to include coverage for autism diagnosis and treatment after January 1, 2016 for persons under 14 years of age. ABA therapy is limited to $25,000 per year. Covered services include (1) behavioral health treatment, (2) pharmacy care, (3) psychiatric care, (4) psychological care, and (5) therapeutic care. Deductibles and co-insurance must be no less favorable than provisions for other medical services.

H.B. 119, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, C.D. 1 – Authorizes “ABLE Savings Accounts” for individuals who become disabled before age 26. Funds contributed to such accounts cannot exceed the federal gift tax exemption ($14,000 in 2015) or a maximum of $300,000. Means-tested public benefits would not be reduced because of such accounts that are available for qualified disability expenses, including education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and personal support services, health, prevention and wellness, financial management and administrative services, legal fees, expenses for oversight and monitoring, funeral and burial expenses, and other expenses approved by the Secretary of the Treasury. The Governor signed the bill into law as Act 206 on July 2, 2015.


H.B. No 1796, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, C.D. 1 – Prohibits seclusion and chemical and mechanical restraint in public schools, limits physical restraint to situations involving an immediate threat of property damage or injury to students or staff. Requires notice to parents within 24 hours of any restraint and at least annual training of DOE staff. The Governor signed the bill into law as Act 206 on July 2, 2014.

S.B. 2054, S.D.3, , H.D. 3, C.D. 1 – Mandates health insurance coverage for autism treatments. Bill gutted and replaced by requirement that Insurance Commissioner award a $50,000 non-bid contract for an actuarial study of the cost of autism insurance to be submitted to the Legislature prior to its 2015 regular session.


S.B. No. 668 – Requires health insurers, mutual benefit societies, and health maintenance organizations to provide health care coverage and benefits for autism spectrum disorders beginning after 12/31/2013.


S.B. No. 2145 – Restores community mental health services that were discontinued by the Adult Mental Health Division in July 2009 as a cost-saving measure; requires the DOE and the Department of Health to prepare an IEP for children ages 3 to 21 who are in need of mental health services regardless of school enrollment status.

S.B. No. 2631 – Mandates insurance for autism diagnosis and treatment. This proposal would mandate coverage in health insurance policies for the costs of early identification and treatment of autism, including, but not limited to, Applied Behavior Analysis therapy.

H.R. 137 – Asks the State Auditor to re-open Report No. 09-09 and advise the Legislature regarding the need for autism insurance prior to the 2013 Regular Session.

UNITED STATES CONGRESS, 112th Congress (2011-2012)

H.R. No. 1208 and S.613 – Amends the IDEA to include expert witness fees, including the reasonable costs of any test or evaluation necessary for the preparation of the parents' or guardians' case in the action or proceeding, within the definition of "attorneys' fees" that may be awarded to the prevailing party in a civil action brought under such Act.

S. 1132 –Provides grants to enable protection and advocacy systems to address the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

S. 2020 – Prohibits seclusion and restraint in public and private schools that receive IDEA funding; limits physical restraint to immediate threats of injury to student or staff. Co-sponsored by Sens. Harkin (Iowa) and Hirono (Hawaii).



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