Senate Passes Autism Insurance Bill

John A. DeFrancisco

June 10, 2010

     Bill Would Provide Insurance Coverage for Screening, Diagnosis
               and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders

     Senator  John  A.  DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) today announced that
legislation he co-sponsored regarding insurance coverage for the screening,
diagnosis  and treatment of autism spectrum disorders has passed the Senate
and has been delivered to the Assembly.

     “The  bill  would  close  an insurance gap that individuals diagnosed
with autism currently face,” said Senator John A. DeFrancisco.

     “I  am pleased that those with the autism spectrum disorder will have
a  better  chance  of early diagnosis, and more clearly-defined coverage in
their  insurance  policies,”  said  Senator  DeFrancisco.   The Centers for
Disease  Control (CDC) estimates that the number of children with autism is
1 in 110 nationwide.

     This bill requires insurance policies to provide coverage for the
diagnosis and treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
Coverage would specifically be required for the group of neurological
conditions know as "autism spectrum disorder", limited only by whatever
restrictions are otherwise contained in the policy.

     The bill amends existing provisions of the insurance law to require
coverage under health insurance policies issued by indemnity and nonprofit
insurers, as well as health maintenance organizations.

     Coverage would also be subject to utilization review, medical
necessity determinations and appropriate case management.  The legislation
insures that only those treatments and therapies, which have been
determined by recognized medical authority, as evidence-based and
clinically proven will be covered.

     “I am hopeful that the Assembly will pass this bill in the near
future so that it can become law, and so that autism can be diagnosed and
treated as early as possible, which no doubt will give children the best
chance of reaching their highest potential.”

For full text of the bill, please visit: