Autism Speaks Monitoring Implementation of New Law

NEW YORK (Nov. 5, 2012) --  Autism Speaks is closely monitoring emergency regulations governing access to ABA that were issued last week by the New York Department of Financial Services, just hours before the autism insurance reform law that was enacted a year ago took effect.

Under the new law, state-regulated plans that are renewed from November 1, 2012 forward will be required to cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder. When the law was enacted in 2011, it required that regulations be promulgated regarding those who provide behavioral health treatment, including applied behavior analysis (ABA). These regulations were to be implemented by the insurance superintendent in consultation with the commissioners of health and education.

The rules were not issued until Thursday, just hours before the November 1 deadline, and were in the form of emergency regulations. The state is next required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the State Register, providing the autism community an opportunity to comment on the development of permanent regulations.

"We will be tracking this closely and will keep the New York autism community informed," said Judith Ursitti, Autism Speaks director of state government affairs. "We also will work with our legislative champions to insure the law is implemented as intended by the Legislature so that families gain affordable access to ABA."

Ursitti has been conducting workshops throughout the state to familiarize families, providers and stakeholders on the new law.