For 8-year-old Evin Schwab, who has autism, the therapies he gets are critical to his development. He gets speech therapy and occupational therapy several times a week. Plus, he also gets habilitation services every week.
All of his therapies are covered through Care1st, which is a healthcare plan that provides support and services to meet the healthcare needs of people enrolled in AHCCCS.
“To know that he’s getting all the services he needs – that’s a big deal for us,” said Erin Schwab, Evin’s mother, adding that the therapies her son receives are helping him improve his physical and social skills.
She said her hope is that by the time Evin graduates from high school, he’ll be independent and able to go to college or enter the workforce. For that to happen, she said the therapies he’s currently receiving are going to be critical.
But if cuts to funding for AHCCCS are made, that could mean the therapies Evin is receiving will no longer be free of cost. And Erin said she and her husband would struggle to find a way to pay for those therapies out of pocket.
“I really think he would go without a lot of the services and a lot of the one-on-one attention he’s getting right now,” she said.
She said worst-case scenario would be eliminate the therapies he’s currently getting and rely only on the ones he gets at school, which she said are very limited.
“There’s only so much time they can spend with him at school when there’s so much demand for academics,” she said. “But he needs those services in order to get the skills he needs to succeed academically.”