Autism Speaks Joins the Connecticut Autism Community In Applauding State Assembly Members for Passing Autism Insurance Legislation

NEW YORK, NY (May 15, 2009) -- Autism Speaks today joined Connecticut families and other autism advocacy organizations in applauding the members of the State Senate for passing Senate Bill 301, which requires insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies. The bill passed the Connecticut Senate today in a vote of 35-0 and now heads to the State House for further action.

The Connecticut bill requires insurers to cover Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which is recognized as an effective, evidence-based treatment for children with autism. SB 301 was sponsored by State Senator Martin M. Looney (D-11) (Senate Majority Leader) and State Representative Christopher G. Donovan (D-84) (Speaker of the House).

“"Autism Speaks applauds the members of the Connecticut State Senate for their passing Senate Bill 301 and extending a helping hand to families that have been financially devastated by the lack of insurance coverage for necessary autism therapies,"” said Elizabeth Emken, Autism Speaks Vice President of Government Relations. “"We now call on the members of the state House to follow suit and pass this bill as well, allowing Connecticut to join the ranks of states that have recognized the unfair and unreasonable burden being imposed on families of children with autism."”

In many states, insurers explicitly exclude coverage of these therapies from policies, which places a significant financial burden on families seeking to provide their children with necessary services. Ten states – Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas – have passed similar autism insurance reform bills. Twenty-six states have introduced bills this year.