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Illinois Legislature Approves Bill Shielding Families From Any Changes Resulting From DSM-5

May 25, 2012

SPRINGFIELD (May 25, 2012)-- The Illinois Senate and House of Representatives gave final approval to a bill amending the state's 2008 autism insurance reform law by assuring that any individual already diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder would not lose benefits as a result of any changes adopted in the upcoming 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), the bill was in response to concerns that a large percentage of individuals, particularly those who are higher functioning or have Asperger syndrome, would be excluded from an autism diagnosis and thus lose benefits when the DSM-5 is published next year.

The bill, S-679, specifies that any individual with an autism diagnosis would  remain eligible for coverage under the 2008 autism insurance law "even if subsequent changes to the diagnostic criteria are adopted by the American Psychiatric Association." The bill goes to Governor Pat Quinn.