Public Policy

CARD’s commitment to public policy is unique among autism treatment providers. CARD® works at both the state and federal levels to inform and shape legislation and implementing regulations to ensure access to autism treatment that reflects best practices.

Many federal and state laws provide patient protections that are relevant to individuals in the autism community, including:

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Social Security Act
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • State Autism Mandates
  • State Mental Health Parity Laws

Because of these laws, most of the limits and requirements that providers and patients encounter in autism treatment are likely improper, including age, hour, and visit limits, location exclusions, and requirements that make a treatment plan a condition of authorization of medically necessary treatment.


Even if you live in a state that does not mandate coverage (or if your plan is not subject to the state mandate) and you have received a coverage denial or claim rejection, you can appeal this decision. Contact your insurance company to find out how its appeals process works. Many families have appealed and won. There’s a chance you could be one of those families! To learn more about appealing an insurance decision, click here.


Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia include autism benefits in the insurance coverage offered through their state marketplaces (commonly known as Obamacare). To find out if you can purchase a policy with autism coverage through your state marketplace, click here.

To learn more, check out the answers to our FAQ:

For inquiries, contact:

Julie Kornack
Director of Public Policy