Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head) today co-sponsored Assembly Bill A6305 that would expand insurance coverage to include the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. The occurrence of these disorders is on the rise, and under current practices, health insurance companies are not required to cover needed services.
“This bill is of the utmost importance to families struggling to provide the best care for their children,” said Montesano. “The need is clearly evident by the fact that 1 in every 110 children are diagnosed with a pervasive developmental disability. It is time that children affected by autism disorders receive the care they need and that insurance companies provide coverage.”
Autism spectrum disorders include Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and other pervasive developmental disabilities. Currently, 23 states require health insurance providers to cover services related to autism disorders. Autism spectrum disorders are more common among children in the United States than pediatric diabetes, cancer, and AIDS combined.
“Many families are forced to pay out of pocket for procedures that can cost $50,000,” said Montesano. “With a dollar amount like that, many kids are going without needed treatment. This legislation will provide better and more comprehensive care to children suffering from a pervasive developmental disability.”