Autism Clean-up Bill Passes House of Delegates - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Autism Clean-Up Bill Passes House of Delegates

Posted: Updated:

Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can breathe a little easier now that the West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill regarding insurance coverage for those children.

House Bill 4260, which passed unanimously, cleans up technical language in a bill passed by the Legislature last year and signed into law by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. However, insurance companies argued that the $30,000 yearly coverage for autism therapies also applied to any medical coverage an autistic child may need, from illnesses to broken bones, said Delegate Ralph Rodighiero, D-Logan, the father of an autistic child.

"Its' like if you read the Bible, you'll have two or three different views of it," he said at Feb. 13 event at the Capitol to lobby in support of the bill. "So what we've got to do is make it more black and white, and that's what we're in the process of doing right now."

This year's bill fixes that language to show that "Applied Behavior Analysis shall be provided or supervised by a certified behavior analyst. The annual maximum benefit for applied behavior analysis required by this subdivision shall be in an amount not to exceed $30,000 per individual for three consecutive years from the date treatment commences." The bill goes on to mandate a $2,000 in therapy coverage monthly until the child is 18. Language in last year's bill simply said "the annual maximum benefit for treatment" would be $30,000.

Delegate Denise Campbell, D-Randolph and mother of an autistic child said at the event that she is angry the insurance companies care more about their bottom lines than the well-being of children.

"It makes me angry that as a citizen and the parent of a child with autism, everything comes down to money," she said at the event. "Why should our children be treated differently than any other child with any other illness? We should not be segregated."

The bill will now go to the Senate for its consideration. Both chambers of the Legislature unanimously passed last year's bill to extend insurance coverage to therapies to autistic children.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVSTATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.