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NM Expansion Bill Signed For Public Employees

April 05, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE (April 5, 2013)-- Governor Susana Martinez signed HB.22, expanding coverage under New Mexico's 2009 autism insurance reform law to include public employees. New Mexico becomes the fourth state to expand its original law to provide more coverage.

"Autism not only affects those individuals living with it, but it also has an impact on their families and loved ones," said Martinez. "This bill will provide some measure of relief to autistic New Mexicans and their families by expanding many health insurance plans to include Autism Spectrum Disorder."

The signing ceremony was held at the University of New Mexico Development and Disability Center. The bill extended coverage from the 2009 law to the Health Care Purchasing Act for public employees, including state workers, municipal employees, and public school teachers.

The bipartisan measure was sponsored by Bernalillo legislators, Rep. James Smith (R) and Senator Bill O'Neill (D).

"Caring for a child with autism is an expensive challenge without the right health care coverage," said Shawna Childress, a teacher at East Mountain High School in Albuquerque. Shawna worked with Rep. Smith, a fellow East Mountain teacher, on getting the bill introduced.