Kristin Jacobson, Co-Founder and President
As part of a more than 20 year career in healthcare marketing and reimbursement, Kristin has advocated for autism related causes for over 6 years, leading the statewide effort to pass autism insurance reform in California. She has extensive experience in reviewing, researching and drafting complex language for both regulations and legislation. As a lead member of the advocates working on SB 946, the insurance mandate law, Kristin worked with state legislators, regulators, nonprofit organization leaders, legislative staff and attorneys, lobbyists and consultants to help develop language for the mandate bill that ultimately was signed into law by Gov. Brown in October of 2011.
In 2009, Kristin co-founded Autism Deserves Equal Coverage to help families and providers access health care treatment through private insurance. She also co-founded the ASD Insurance Help Yahoo group to assist parents secure insurance coverage for autism. Through message boards and individual case advocacy, Kristin has helped hundreds of families successfully appeal insurance denials. More than 15 of her cases have resulted in enforcement actions taken by the Department of Managed Health Care and California Department of Insurance to require compliance by health insurers doing business in California.
Kristin Jacobson is also a Founding Member and Steering Committee Member, Alliance of California Autism Organizations; State Policy Chair, Autism Speaks California; and a member of the Autism Advisory Task Force established by SB 946.
Rachel Norton, Administrator/Case Manager
A longtime advocate for children with disabilities, Rachel Norton has served as an administrator and case manager for Autism Deserves Equal Coverage since early 2011. She began her career as an editor and writer, and has worked at The New York Times, Reuters, CNET: The Computer Network and FORA.tv. She helped found the Autism Speaks Bay Area Advocacy Group with Kristin Jacobson in 2006, and has been an active volunteer in the San Francisco public schools, where she served two years as a member of the district’s Community Advisory Committee for Special Education. She was elected to the San Francisco Board of Education in November 2008 and re-elected in November 2012.