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Proposed Health Insurance Mandate for Autism Treatment Tabled by Virginia House

By Kevin Leach, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Virginia, families of children with autism had succeeded in getting a new bill into the House that would have required many health insurance providers to cover a treatment called “applied behavioral analysis.” But businesses and insurance companies claimed that the costs of the bill would hurt business interests in the state.

Despite the fact that an actuary who studied the financial implications of the bill reported that it would only increase insurance costs by .2% across the state, the bill did not make it out of the Virginia House Commerce and Labor subcommittee. The families in favor of the bill blamed heavy lobbying by the insurance industry for the failure of the bill to reach the House floor. Legislators pointed out that many businesses are already at the breaking point financially and that adding costs will only make things worse.

Applied behavioral analysis is considered by many autism specialists to be the best hope for autistic children to lead normal lives. But the treatment can cost thirty thousand dollars a year or more; a sum that is out of reach for most middle class families. Virginia is one of thirty five states in the US that do not require insurance companies to pay for the treatment.

Find out more about the failure of the proposed autism insurance mandate in Virginia at Va. Panel Kills Autism Treatment Coverage Mandate.