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Letter: Fearful families

On Aug. 4, I participated in a statewide stakeholder forum hosted by the Bureau of Development Services.

The purpose of this forum was to obtain families’ feelings about what they want preserved as the state moves long-term services (for individuals with disabilities such as intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, autism, brain injuries, etc.) under the management of insurance companies.

The coordination of these services would no longer be in the hands of local area agencies, as it has been for the past 30 years.

I’m sure more than a hundred people made comments, and not one was in favor of putting the coordination of their family member’s supports in the hands of the managed care insurance companies.

People spoke from their hearts about how well the system works as it is currently configured and that they can depend on them for rapid and effective response when help is needed.

One dad said it succinctly: “The area agency doesn’t help me find someone to support my son, they find them for me.”

Families are terrified that this highly effective system they have helped build is about to be demolished. They know the only way the insurance companies will make a profit is by either cutting their family members’ services or reducing the quality of these services.

KAREN SALTER

Somersworth

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