Legislation sponsored by Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, requiring health insurance providers to cover the treatment up to $50,000 a year will come before lawmakers in the new session that begins Monday.
It's the second go-round for those in search of coverage for autism disorders. In 2009 a similar bill failed as critics cited problems with a mandate-approach to insurance coverage that could financially hurt small businesses by increasing premiums
But the Utah Autism Coalition cites studies that show treatment may be the best chance that up to 47 percent of autistic children have to lead normal, productive lives. And it says public schools and mental health centers are limited with long wait lists.The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on Virginia:
Children with autism could have a key treatment covered by insurance by the end of this year under a measure heading to the House of Delegates.
The bill, sponsored by Del. Thomas A. "Tag" Greason, R-Loudoun, is intended to address technical issues with the autism insurance mandate legislation passed during last year's session that have delayed implementation.
Greason's bill gives the Board of Medicine the power to promulgate the regulations that legislators asked them to last year, and directs them to do it within 280 days. It also creates a work group of industry experts to help the board with the regulations.
The measure carries an emergency clause, which would speed it through the General Assembly to the governor's desk. Emergency legislation, which takes effect upon the governor's signature, requires the approval of 80 percent of lawmakers in each chamber.
The House's Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee approved the measure 21-0 Tuesday.
"The governor has said he's going to sign it as soon as he gets it on his desk," Greason said.