RICHMOND, Va., April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Virginia Autism Project joined families and communities in Virginia in applauding Governor Robert McDonnell for indicating that he will allow House Bill 2467 and Senate Bill 1062 to become law effective January 1, 2012. This new law requires insurance companies to provide evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies for children ages 2 thru 6 with a $35,000 annual cap. Sponsored by Senator Janet Howell (Fairfax-D) and Delegates Tim Hugo (Fairfax-R), Tom Rust (Fairfax/Loudoun-R), and Tag Greason (Loudoun-R), this reform passed the General Assembly with overwhelming support last month after 11 years of failed attempts.
"As a businessman with many years of experience in the private sector, HB 2467 not only is the right thing to do, but will be a huge help to so many families who have children with autism," said Delegate Greason. "Hundreds of families will get the care they need to help make a real difference in the treatment of this disorder."
"We are thrilled and humbled to know that Governor McDonnell, Speaker Howell, Senator Saslaw, Senator Janet Howell, Delegate Greason and the leaders of Virginia are standing with families touched by autism today and in the future to enact this historic legislation. This is a tremendous step forward to improve comprehensive services for children with autism in Virginia," said Pat DiBari, president of the Virginia Autism Project.
The Virginia Autism Project, partnered with Autism Speaks and parents of children with autism in the Commonwealth began working on legislation to require insurance coverage for medical treatment for autism years ago. In reports released over the past few years, the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission (JLARC) acknowledge that insurance coverage is only a part of the comprehensive services required to address the unique challenges of all age groups with autism. While pursuing a smooth implementation of this new law, the Virginia Autism Project also intends to advocate for an increase in the medicaid waiver services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
For more information, see http://www.virginiaautismproject.org and join us on Facebook.
SOURCE Virginia Autism Project