Autism Speaks Endorses Texas Bill Eliminating Age Cap

AUSTIN (March 19, 2013) -- Autism Speaks today endorsed SB.1484 which would eliminate the age 10 cap for receiving benefits under Texas' 2007 autism insurance reform law. The law originally required coverage between the ages of 3 and 5, then was raised through age 9 in 2009.

The new bill is sponsored by Senators Kirk Watson of Austin, Wendy Davis of Forth Worth and Eddie Lucio, Jr. of Brownsville. Lucio championed the original 2007 law and the 2009 amendment. The bill was referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee.

"We are so proud of the continuing leadership in Texas which was the third of the now 32 states to enact autism insurance reform and the first to amend its law to make it even stronger," said Judith Ursitti, Autism Speaks' director of state government affairs. "The new bill is a common sense step forward to benefit Texas children and save the state's taxpayers money."

The current Texas law requires state-regulated health plans to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism, including behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, as well as speech, occupational and physical therapy.