Kaiser for autism services?

We're planning a move back to Berkeley after being out of state, and we just got a diagnosis of autism for our 6 year old son. We're currently with Kaiser in Oregon and they are offering social skills groups and have referred us for ABA (although there's a shortage of providers and wait lists are long). When we move we'll be able to change insurance - we like Kaiser a lot, but if it's easier to access autism therapies through other insurance providers in the Bay Area, we'd switch. Two questions: 1) If anyone has had both Kaiser and non-Kaiser insurance and needed autism services, which did you prefer? 2) Any anecdotes about good or bad insurance experiences related to autism services? 

I'd also appreciate any additional general advice about accessing autism services in the East Bay, although I'm sure I'll be able to track it down online - it's overwhelming to plan a move and figure out all of this. Thanks!

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RE: Kaiser for autism services? ()

We have two kids on the spectrum and Kaiser has been great for our family. The challenges around shortage of service providers exists, reagardless of whether you have Kaiser or another insurance provider. I especially appreciate that Kaiser Oakland has an autism specialist on staff in their child psychiatry department, who is a great resource for navigating systems and even helping with family challenges that arise around the diagnosis.

We briefly had a different insurance provider and the wait time for an assesssment was over a year long, so I was relieved when we got back on Kaiser and had our oldest assessed within a month.

Basically, there will be issues around finding service providers, no matter what, but I apprecaite how simple Kaiser makes everything else.

You could also post this question to the East Bay Autism Facebook group to get a broad audience and range of opinions, as well as help with other services.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/325983237562522/

Cheers,

Sarah

RE: Kaiser for autism services? ()

You probably already know about Regional Center of the East Bay, but just in case you don't, be sure to apply to them ASAP.  They have a long wait time.  They may not be as helpful now, but have lots of services for housing, job assistance, etc for young adults with autism.