Apple Health leads the way to a better life for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) client

Kelci Mumford, standing in a grove of trees wearing a green t-shirt, smiling

Kelci Mumford

Kelci Mumford is a big advocate for Apple Health (Medicaid).

Not only did Apple Health cover health conditions she long had, like asthma and chronic back pain, it also covered the entire cost of her autism spectrum disorder (ASD) assessment. She had been told by health care providers she may be on the spectrum, but she didn’t have the money to take the assessment, which could cost upwards of $2,500 out of pocket.

Kelci had previously struggled with maintaining employment and had difficulties in other areas of her life. Autism is a developmental disorder causing difficulty with social communication and interacting with others, with the potential to hurt the person’s ability to function normally in school, work, or other areas of life. Symptoms of ASD can vary widely in diagnosed individuals, which is why it’s referred to as a "spectrum" disorder.

It wasn’t easy for Kelci to find providers willing to assess adults for ASD because diagnosing adults is often more difficult than diagnosing children, since ASD symptoms can overlap with other mental health disorders. She was happy when she found the University of Washington Autism Center not only conducted adult assessments, but also accepted Apple Health. Had it not been for Apple Health, she might not have been able to learn that she had ASD.

Learning about her ASD was a huge step in getting the care she needed to live a more productive life. It opened up the door to better understanding her behaviors and experiences, recognizing and pursuing career options more aligned with her strengths, and helped with receiving more effective mental health care services.

"I always recommend Apple Health highly whenever I meet someone without health care and direct them to resources for signing up. You could say I am an informal spokesperson," said Mumford. "Having Apple Health has made my life so much better."

Apple Health provides free or low cost health care coverage to more than 1.8 million people in Washington, which includes physical and behavioral health services. Learn more about or apply for free or low cost coverage online at Washington Healthplanfinder.

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