Partners In Excellence is passing on this story on behalf of Tracy Reid, a mother of a child with autism, who filed suit against Health Partners, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the state of Minnesota for denying her son behavioral therapy for autism. Many of you have followed this story, which began last winter. More information about Tracy’s story can be found at www.insuranceawareness.net
District of Minnesota Federal Court Building 316 North Robert Street 100 Federal Building St. Paul, MN 55101
My oral argument is this coming Monday, Sept. 30 at 8:00 a.m. in the St. Paul federal courthouse in front of Judge Richard Kyle (the address is below). I am the plaintiff (the person who brought the lawsuit) on behalf of myself – as a parent in need of parenting skills therapy, and as the parent of a child in need of behavioral therapy to treat autism on his behalf. The Defendants are BlueCross BlueShield of MN (they cut my son’s therapy after acknowledging that it was medically necessary), HealthPartners (they always refused to cover the therapy) and the State of Minnesota (they allowed the two health insurance companies to cut my son’s therapy). My argument is that it is a violation of our discrimination laws to single out children with autism from receiving the most effective and most prescribed treatment of autism when they provide intensive therapy for other conditions to other people.
Minnesota has poor laws in this area. Every other case in the country that has won like this involves a state that has a mental health parity act that allows a cause of action (confers on the public a right to sue). Minnesota’s act does not allow anyone to sue for a violation of its terms (in essence, it is a garbage law).
Minnesota is the ONLY state in the country in recent history that his allowed an insurance provider to cut behavioral therapy from its plan, where most other states are requiring its coverage. Some states have not acted, but none have allowed BCBSM to do what it has done.
I have been told that it is good for the case for the judge to see many concerned people attending as possible. So if anyone can go at that hour, please do. I can’t say I will be dazzling (but I’ll try!), but it will give everyone the exact arguments the best attorneys on behalf of the health insurance companies and the state can make to stop our kids from receiving their needed therapy.