Michigan lawmakers plan another attempt at passing legislation related to insurance coverage for autism in 2012, a key legislative leader said Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, a Republican from Monroe, said legislation is expected to be introduced early next year. It's likely to have changes from autism coverage legislation that died in the Senate in 2010.
Previous efforts to mandate that health insurers provide coverage for certain autism therapies have run into opposition from business and insurance groups. They say mandating coverage would raise the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance, and that's a major reason why efforts for such a mandate have been stalled in Michigan.
More than half the states have adopted laws that require insurers to provide autism coverage, and supporters say it's time for Michigan to join them.
"Families in Michigan have worked so hard for several years to try and get this passed," said Lorri Unumb, a state government affairs official with Autism Speaks, a nationwide advocacy group. "To be frank, they are desperate for some sort of relief."