The vote was 28-11 in support of Senate Bill 1062, sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, which now heads to the House of Delegates. The House also passed a version of a bill providing autism coverage, which now heads to the Senate.
The legislation would provide coverage for autistic children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old and cap the coverage at $35,000 a year.
The law would not apply to self-insured companies and would exempt small businesses with 50 employees or fewer, but it would cover state employees. A price guarantee would allow companies to opt out if the cost of coverage exceeds the premium by 1 percent.
Across the state line, The Charleston Gazette reports:
A group of about 30 supporters and parents of children with autism gathered at the state Capitol Complex Tuesday in support of a long-sought insurance proposal that would require West Virginia's public and private insurers to cover autism spectrum disorders.
The bipartisan bill is scheduled to go before the House of Delegates Thursday. A similar bill passed the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on Tuesday.
"This is a medical condition and these families deserve coverage," said Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia. "And we are going to do it this year."