A bill to fix a flaw in an childhood autism insurance coverage law approved last year breezed through the House of Delegates today, attracting just one dissenting vote.
The measure authorizes the state Board of Medicine to develop regulations for the licensure of behavior analysts involved in the treatment of autistic children, a necessary step for the care of those youngsters to be covered by Virginia insurers.
After years of debate, lawmakers in 2011 passed a law requiring insurance companies to cover the diagnosis and treatment of young children with autism spectrum disorder. Its provisions generally apply to autistic children ages 2-6 and caps annual expenses at $35,000.
Also on Friday, Autism Votes reported:
The Assembly Appropriations Committee yesterday voted AB.171 out of committee 12-5 and to the Assembly floor for a full vote.
Introduced in 2011 by Assemblyman Jim Beall (D-San Jose), the bill would end any remaining discrimination for health insurance coverage for occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and other medically necessary treatments for people with autism. A provision covering behavioral health treatments was deleted by the committee due to the enactment last year of SB.946.