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State Autism Profiles: Hawaii

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DEMOGRAPHICS

In 2000, 364 or 1.52% of children ages 3-21 who received special education services in Hawaii have autism. In 2014-2015, 1,600 or 8.39% of children with disabilities ages 3-21 who received special education services have autism.

Table 1-1: IDEA Part B - Children with Autism in Hawaii for 1999-2000 and 2014-2015
(Child Count by Age Group)

  1999-20002014-2015
Age 3-5

88

277

Age 6-21

276

1,323

Age 3-21

364

1,600

Source: Reported by the State of Hawaii in accordance with Section 618 of IDEA to U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

Table 1-2: IDEA Part B - Children with Disabilities in Hawaii for 1999-2000 and 2014-2015
(Child Count by Age Group)

  1999-20002014-2015
Age 3-5

1,919

2,364

Age 6-11

10,265

7,357

Age 12-17

11,046

8,630

Age 18-21

721

730

Age 6-21

22,032

16,717

Age 3-21

23,951

19,081

Source: Reported by the State of Hawaii in accordance with Section 618 of IDEA to U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

STATE TASK FORCE

Hawaii does not have an active task force on autism at this time. However, a temporary task force did exist in the past to review benefits and coverage for autism spectrum disorders (H.B. 2727). Under the legislation, effective July 1, 2008, the temporary task force met for one year to review the issues and needs of children with autism spectrum disorders, and to research health insurance benefits and coverage in other states. The task force prepared recommendations on services for a health insurance mandate for autism spectrum disorders and proposed legislation to the legislature. The task force report was completed in December 2008 and presented to the state legislature.
http://www.cds.hawaii.edu/actearly/downloads/summit/pdf/Act221_report.pdf

STATE INSURANCE COVERAGE

On July 16, 2015 Hawaii became the 42nd state to pass autism insurance legislation. S.B. 791 (Act 235) requires state-regulated insurance plans to cover medically necessary treatment for autism including behavioral health treatment, psychiatric, psychological, pharmaceutical and therapeutic care. The legislation also requires plans to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) with a maximum of $25,000 per year through 13 years of age.
https://legiscan.com/HI/bill/SB791/2015

On January 15, 2014, S.B. 2054 was introduced into the Hawaii Senate. This bill mandated coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment of autism spectrum disorders for all individuals under the age of 21. It designated a maximum benefit of $50,000 per year and a maximum lifetime benefit of $300,000. However, after several amendments and substitutions, a much revised version of S.B. 2054 was passed by the Senate on May 1, 2014 (and the House on April 30). As signed by the Governor, the law requires the Insurance Commissioner to contract for an actuarial analysis of the projected costs of insurance coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment of autism spectrum disorders. The Commissioner must report the findings of this analysis to the Legislature no later than 20 days prior to the opening of the 2015 regular session. The report was submitted to the legislature December 2014.

OTHER STATE ACTIVITY

Behavior Analyst Program
S.B. 40, passed during the 2015 session along with autism insurance legislation, establishes the Behavior Analyst Program within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The legislation requires the licensing of behavior analysts for the practice of behavioral analysis beginning on January 1, 2016 and ending on June 30, 2021.
https://legiscan.com/HI/bill/SB40/2015
http://cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/programs/behavior/

ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS

When Hawaii established its benchmark plan, it did not have an autism insurance mandate. Its benchmark plan does not include autism services or applied behavior analysis (ABA) in the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) package. Hawaii runs its own exchange.
(Hawaii Medical Service Association; Preferred Provider Plan 2010)

EDUCATION

The Hawaii Department of Education, Special Education Division offers educational services to students with autism and works with each student to develop an individualized educational plan. The division also has education specialists in autism in each district around the state, and offers training on autism to teachers and professionals. The Hawaii Department of Education provides a variety of empirically based teaching strategies. Each technique reflects common elements of model programs for children with autism.
http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/TeachingAndLearning/SpecializedPrograms/SpecialEducation/Pages/home.aspx

STATE LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR

The Hawaii State Legislature convenes in January annually and lasts 60 legislative days. The 2016 Regular Session began on January 20, 2016 and adjourned on May 5, 2016. The 2017 session is expected to convene mid-January of 2017.
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/

Sponsors of Autism Legislation

  • Sen. Russell E. Ruderman (D-Puna, Ka’u) District 2
  • Sen. Josh Green (D-North and South Kohala) District 3
  • Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland (D-Sand Island) District 13
  • Sen. Clarence K. Nishihara (D-Waipahu) District 17
  • Sen. Will Espero (D-Ewa Beach) District 20
  • Sen. Maile S. L. Shimabukuro (D-Ko ‘Olina) District 21
  • Rep. Bertrand Kobayashi (D-Diamond Head) District 19
  • Rep. John Mizuno (D-Kamehameha Heights) District 28
  • Rep. Chris Lee (D-Kailua) District 51

Prepared by Easterseals, Inc.; November 2016.

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