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Assembly Passes Bill To Help Families Cover The Cost Of Autism

Originally Posted: June 30, 2011

Sag Harbor - Fred Thiele states "Every day, thousands of New York families are faced with the challenge of caring for a child diagnosed with autism, and every day many of those same families worry that their child's medical treatment may not be covered by their insurance. It is my hope that the days of New York families worrying about their coverage in regard to their child's autism treatment are almost over.

Children with autism require special medical care and attention. These requirements can be very expensive and often place financial burdens on families. That's why the Assembly passed legislation I supported that will require insurance companies to cover the costs relating to the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (A.6305-A). This legislation - which passed the Senate and awaits the governor's signature - will have a positive effect on the level of care we provide young people diagnosed with this disorder.

Under this new legislation, children who have autism may be diagnosed earlier, and thus be able to begin treatment at an earlier age. By receiving treatment at an earlier age, they would require less medical attention later in life, which will help insurance companies save money in the long run. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates the number of children currently facing autism in the country is one in 110. These numbers make autism one of the most common disorders affecting children today, so the importance of this legislation cannot be overstated.

If made law, New York will join 23 other states in requiring coverage for conditions relating to autism spectrum disorder.

In the midst of this economic downturn, families have had a difficult time keeping up with the rising cost of medical care for young people faced with autism. It is essential that we make sure those diagnosed with autism get the help they need at a young age to improve their quality of life."

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