BATON ROUGE- Many families in Louisiana who have children with Autism spectrum disorders will now have the option to purchase health insurance that covers diagnosis and treatment through the age of 21.
The health insurace bill was passed unanimously by the state Senate and the House of Representatives. Governor Jindal signed HB 771 to become state law.
State Rep. Franklin Foil (R-Baton Rouge) authored this bill and formerly passed Autism insurance reform legislation in 2008. Hundreds of children were able to receive medical treatment and therapy, including rehabilitative care, applied behavior analysis (ABA). This former law provided insurance coverage for children up to 17 years of age, and it capped lifetime benefits at $144,000.
HB 771 raises the age cap to 21, removes the lifetime benefits cap, and it guarantees coverage for all group insurance plans.
"It was an honor to sponsor this bill and watch the Legislature come together to support such an important cause to help the children with Autism in our state," said Rep. Foil.
Shelley Hendrix, Director of Grassroots for Autism Speaks, worked closely with Rep. Foil to get this initiative passed.
"With one in every 88 children in our state diagnosed with autism according to statistics released from the Centers for Disease Control this past spring, this new expansion law will open even more doors for so many of our families who have children with autism that deserve access to the medical treatments and therapies they need to live more independent adult lives," said Hendrix.
A bill-signing ceremony for HB 771 is being held today at 2:00 p.m. at the Governor's Mansion where families with children with Autism and supporters will be present.
For more information, please contact Rep. Foil's District Office at (225) 342-6777.