SENATE GIVES FINAL LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL FOR LANDMARK AUTISM INSURANCE REFORM
The New York State Senate approved legislation to enable
individuals with autism spectrum disorders to receive insurance coverage
for screening, diagnosis and treatment. The bill would save tens of
thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses spent by families caring for
individuals with autism and address insurance companies’ refusal to cover
costs for autism treatments and therapies.
Autism Spectrum Disorders affect individuals of all ethnic, racial,
and socioeconomic groups. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates
that 1 in 110 children, including 1 in 70 boys, are currently affected with
“This significant legislation is necessary to provide families
dealing with autism the assistance they both need and deserve,” said
Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Kemp Hannon.
“These families should not be denied the proper services and quality
of care for their loved ones merely because of an autism diagnosis.”
The legislation requires insurance companies to provide coverage for
the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders,
including behavioral health treatments, speech therapy, occupational
therapy, and physical therapy. Insurance companies would be prohibited from
terminating coverage or refusing to renew, adjust, amend, issue, or execute
a policy solely because the individual has been diagnosed with or received
treatment for autism spectrum disorders.