Legislators push autism bills

A pair of House Republicans are pushing for extended coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders for children ages 2 to 6 years old affected by it.

Dels. Tag Greason, R-Loudoun, and Tim Hugo, R-Fairfax, are patroning bills as part of the package. Greason’s HB 2467 would extend private-sector insurance coverage for early intervention services for children with autism spectrum disorder from ages two through six-years old up to an annual maximum benefit of $35,000, unless a company’s plan elects to provide coverage in a greater amount. The bill also does not apply to employers with 50 or fewer employees, a commonly accepted measure of small businesses. Hugo’s HB 2512 largely mirrors the Greason legislation, but includes applied behavioral analysis (ABA) as a covered service for children of state employees with autism who are ages two through six-years old.

“As a businessman with many years of experience in the private sector, HB 2467 not only is the right thing to do, but will be a huge help to so many families who have children with autism,” Greason said. “Hundreds of families will get the care they need to help make a real difference in the treatment of this disorder.”

“Early diagnosis and treatment for children with autism is very important to families coping with autism,” Hugo said. “Since the Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 110 children, and 1 in 70 boys are affected by autism, our two bills will help improve the future of many children diagnosed with autism.”

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at freepress2@ntelos.net.

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