Autism Insurance Coverage Bill Introduced in Maryland House and Senate
Annapolis, MD (January 29, 2009) - Today, Delegate Kirill Reznik and Senator Kathy Klausmeier, with the strong support of Attorney General Doug Gansler, introduced bills in the Maryland House and Senate to ensure that treatment for children with autism is covered by insurers.
The Autism Insurance Coverage bill will require that insurance companies provide coverage for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, medication, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. ABA is a behavioral therapy which is accepted by most medical authorities as the most effective treatment for Autism. It is estimated that 1 in 142 children in Maryland have a disorder which falls on the Autism Spectrum. Similar versions of this bill have passed in States throughout the country including Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana and Texas.
According to Delegate Reznik, the bills lead House sponsor, this bill is necessary to ensure that those families who have a child with autism can obtain the treatment that they need. Time and time again, we have seen that early intervention with treatment makes a tremendous difference in the childs life. Additionally, having insurance companies cover the cost of this treatment will make a tremendous monetary difference for both the family and the State, but more importantly allows these children and families to enjoy a better quality of life. Senator Klausmeier the Senator lead sponsor remarks I am proud to be the sponsor of this legislation to help the children with autism and their families.
The bill is supported by a wide group of organizations in addition to Autism Speaks, including the Maryland chapters of the Autism Society of America, Pathfinders for Autism, SEIU 500, Arc of Frederick County, Easter Seals, The Association of University Centers on Disabilities and others. In addition over 50 Delegates have signed on to co-sponsor this bill.
These groups will be having a rally on February 26 at 11:30 am at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis. Stay tuned for more information in this event!