NEW YORK, NY (July 29, 2009) -- Autism Speaks today joined Michigan families and other autism advocacy organizations in applauding the members of the State House for their passage of House Bill 4476 and House Bill 4183, both of which require insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies. The bill passed the Michigan House at the end of June and now heads to the State Senate Committee on Economic Development and Regulatory Reform for review.
The Michigan bill requires insurers to cover up to $50,000 for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which is recognized as an effective, evidence-based treatment for children with autism. HB 4476 was sponsored in the House by Representative Kathy Angerer. HB 4183 was sponsored by Representative Richard Ball.
"Autism Speaks applauds the members of the Michigan state House for their passing of House Bills 4476 and 4183 and thereby 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 Senate to follow suit and pass this bill as well, allowing Michigan 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. Fourteen states Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin have passed similar autism insurance reform bills. Nearly thirty states have introduced bills this year.
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