Senate Passes Bill Expanding Coverage Of Therapy For Developmentally Disabled Children

State-regulated insurance companies would be required to cover screenings and any medically necessary therapies for children with autism and other developmental disabilities, under a bill the Senate passed unanimously today.Insurance companies historically have argued against covering services for children with autism because these therapies were educational, not medical. They also argued services like speech therapy cannot be classified as medically “restorative” if a child has never spoken, which is not uncommon characteristic in autistic children, said Leslie Long, public policy director for Autism New Jersey, a family advocacy group. But lawmakers and autism advocates are challenging this way of thinking, Long said. New Jersey would be the 14th state to enact an insurance mandate for the cost of autism treatment services, according to, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that tracks state issues. Read full Star Ledger article here.

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