Comprehensive Health Care

Persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, have the right to comprehensive, appropriate, timely, affordable and accessible medical, dental and habilitative services throughout their lives.  Comprehensive health care must be provided, regardless of a person's ability to pay.

It is The Arc New York’s position that:

  • Comprehensive Health Care must:
    • Include quality primary care, specialty medical care, oral health, clinical, behavioral health, and habilitative services based on the person’s medical and developmental diagnosis.
    • Preserve and/or improve the individual's physical or psychological health and overall well-being.
    • Include care coordination that will integrate comprehensive health care services, enhance health care outcomes, and avoid duplication of services, which may reduce costs.
    • Be available, accessible, affordable and timely.
    • Be provided only with the informed consent of the individual or legal guardian or surrogate decision-making committee or any other legally authorized person.


  • The Health Care Decision Maker must:
    • Have the legal capacity to give consent;
    • Be given sufficient information to understand the benefits and risks of the proposed treatment;
    • Be offered the opportunity to ask questions and receive complete answers in a manner understandable to the decision-maker;
    • Never be forced to accept or reject a particular treatment through deceit, threat or for reasons that relate to the convenience of the provider.
    • Be selected by the individual as a collaborative partner to the fullest extent possible.


  • Properly obtained and documented advance directives must be honored for persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
  • Public Policy must guarantee that health insurance coverage for persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities is comprehensive in scope, has a competitive rate structure with flexibility that allows for integrated service delivery, covering all health and health related services, equal in every respect to that afforded to the general population.
  • In the delivery of health care services to persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, providers and caregivers must educate the medical community on research based best practices. 
Adopted October 20, 2001 at the NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly as Medical/Dental Treatment
Adopted October 24, 2015 at the NYSARC, Inc. Delegate Assembly