Assemblyman Philip Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced that a bill requiring insurance companies to cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders was signed into law today. Assemblyman Ramos is a member of the Assembly Subcommittee on Students with Special Needs.
“Caring for a child with autism can be hard enough without having to deal with the overwhelming costs that go along with it,” Ramos said.
Under current law, many expensive screenings and treatments are not covered by insurance and must be paid for by families out of pocket. This results in substantial medical bills that bury countless families. Under the new law, health insurance coverage will expand to include the screening and diagnoses for children displaying signs of autism and autism spectrum disorders and ensure that children who are diagnosed get the treatment they deserve.
“This new law goes a long way in protecting children and families of those affected by autism spectrum disorders,” Ramos said. “Now, families can focus on what’s important – their child’s health – rather than worry about how they are going to pay the next medical bill.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 1 in 110 children is diagnosed with autism in the United States, making autism one of the most common disorders affecting children today. And the number of children being diagnosed is only rising.
New York now joins 23 other states in requiring coverage for conditions relating to autism spectrum disorder.