Ryan’s Law Expansion

Submitted by: Megan White

On July 1, 2008 Ryan’s Law was passed in the state of South Carolina. The law is named after Ryan Unumb who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 5. After making great financial sacrifices in order to ensure Ryan had access to applied behavior analysis services his mother Lorri, a lawyer and professor of law, decided to create a bill to require insurance coverage for behavioral therapy. With the help of her and her husband’s law experience and the support of other South Carolina families Lorri found success after 2 years of lobbying legislators.

At this time Ryan’s Law has helped many families receive coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis therapy, however there are still parameters that make it challenging for others to receive coverage. At present families who buy insurance through their small employer (50 or fewer employees), or who buy insurance individually, do not have Ryan’s Law coverage. Coverage is only mandated for fully funded medical plans under large enough groups. This has made it very challenging for hard working families who don’t fall under these guidelines.

It is our hope that with help Lorri Unumb will once again succeed in her mission to open coverage to all South Carolina residents with Senate Bill 135, the Ryan’s Law amendments bill. In order for that to happen we must make our voices heard and let them know that we want to see this bill pass!

Can you take 5 minutes and ask the South Carolina House Ways and Means Committee to hold a hearing to move the legislation forward as soon as possible?