Zebrowski: Assembly passes legislation to lessen financial burden on families who face autism

June 17, 2011
Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski (D-New City) announced the Assembly’s passage of a bill he sponsored that will require insurance companies to cover costs relating to the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (A.6305-A).

“People with autism require special medical care and attention. These accommodations can prove to be very expensive and force families into difficult situations,” Zebrowski said. “This bill will lessen the financial burden on these families and open the door for them to receive the treatment they need.”

Current law does not require health insurance companies to cover all treatment associated with autism. This has led to situations where parents have gaps in their coverage, forcing these families to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket costs to get their family member the treatment needed. This bill will require health insurance companies to cover costs relating to autism treatment, diagnosis and screening.

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that severely affects the way an individual can relate to others socially and it also can hamper an individual’s ability to communicate and learn. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that the number of children with autism is 1 in 110 nationwide, making it one of the most common disorders affecting people today.

“There are a growing number of autism cases across the state,” Zebrowski said. “We need to ensure we are making the appropriate accommodations for the people who have this disorder and that these individuals are getting the help they need.”