July 2011 E-Newsletter

July 19, 2011

Meet Me

I will be holding two community coffee meetings in August. Please stop by if you've got an issue, an idea, or question about state government. I'll be talking with people one-on-one.


Autism Services Insurance Coverage

Assembly Bill 171, my legislation to require health insurance plans to provide coverage for screening, diagnosis, and treatment services associated with autism spectrum disorders, is in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, awaiting a decision in January.

I was informed the bill will proceed after the federal government determines essential plan benefits under its healthcare reform rollout.

But on July 13, AB 171 and a companion bill in the state Senate, SB 166, were discussed in the state Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders. The committee is chaired by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the author of SB 166. During the meeting, State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones testified that insurance companies are violating current law by not providing autism services to children.

AB 171 would end the practice of health insurers denying children and adults with autism and related disorders the critical services and programs they need. It also stops health insurers from shifting their responsibility to pay for therapy and services onto our financially besieged school districts.

This bill remains alive but it needs public support. To learn how, click here.

Knowing All of Your Senior Benefits

What benefits or programs do seniors qualify for? To gain an understanding of what those are – either for yourself or your parents – visit Benefitscheckup.org. The website is operated by the National Council on Aging and its aim is to connect seniors to the benefits they deserve.

Medical Clinic for Low-Income Residents

The Pacific Free Clinic provides no-cost medical services to eligible low-income, uninsured adults in the East San Jose area. The drop-in clinic is located at Overfelt High School, 1835 Cunningham Ave. For more information, please call 1-888-321-9972 or click here.

The Pacific Free Clinic is a Stanford University operated, student-run health clinic. In addition to health assessments, the clinic offers lab testing, referrals, low-cost medications at local pharmacies. It also has a particular focus on Hepatitis B and cardiovascular disease.

The clinic serves patients regardless of their immigration status and provides on-site medical services in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, and Mandarin Chinese.

Real-Time Affordable Housing Listings

The city of San Jose and Santa Clara County have joined forces to create SCCHousingSearch.org, a free website that is updated with real-time information on affordable housing including sales and rental listings. Visit the website or call them at 1-877-428-8844 from Monday to Friday, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Besides assisting tenants, the website can also be used by property owners to post listings.