The Albany Times-Union reports:
The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to require insurance companies to cover screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism.
The bill had broad bipartisan support, including Sen. Neil Breslin, a Bethlehem Democrat who worked the draft the legislation as chairman of the insurance committee and Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, who has long drawn attention to the disorder.
"It's a piece of legislation that I believe is landmark," Breslin said. Twenty other states already require some form of autism coverage by insurers.
Currently, advocates of the measure said, families receiving treatment plans from doctors -- including speech therapy -- are surprised to hear they are not covered by health insurance. Judith Ursitti, a regional advocate with Autism Speaks, an organization which backed the bill, said she had heard stories of families taking second mortgages on their homes to finance treatment.