HB1588: Autism spectrum disorder; mandated health insurance coverage therefor was introduced in the Virginia General Assembly by Mr. Marshall on September 24, 2008 and requires health insurers, health care subscription plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder in individuals under age 21. Coverage is subject to an annual maximum benefit of $36,000. Anyone interested in following the progress of the bill can do so on the excellent Richmond Sunlight site.
Delegates Marshall and Poisson point out that, in addition to the gains for autistic children, early intervention in treating autism is an effective cost saving measure and that it alleviates the burden on on schools in their efforts to educate autistic children. The health insurance autism mandate is required to ensure that early intervention is provided to autistic children in Virginia. The legislation would provide for coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary care prescribed, provided or ordered by a physician or psychologist for a child under the age of 21.
Autistic children, and their families, in Virginia have two strong champions in Delegates Rob Marshall and David Poisson.