NEW YORK, NY (April 28, 2009) -- Autism Speaks today joined Minnesota families and other autism advocacy organizations in applauding the members of the State House for passing autism insurance reform as part of the Omnibus Health and Human Services Finance bill, House File 1362. This bill now contains a provision that requires insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies. The bill now heads to the State Senate for further action.
"Autism Speaks applauds the members of the Minnesota State House for amending the Omnibus bill to include autism insurance reform and for passing the bill, 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 Minnesota 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.