The Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday passed HB2577, legislation to lift the age cap for autism coverage to help approximately 10,000 Virginians get access to needed healthcare.
“This piece of legislation has been a long time coming and I am proud of the House for taking this step to guarantee those on the Autism spectrum have access to much needed healthcare,” said Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “Many of these children are not diagnosed until they are already six or seven years of age and need access to important care for longer than just three or four years.”
Currently, state law only says that health insurers must offer such coverage for individuals from age two through age 10. No other prevalent health condition including– asthma, diabetes and cancer– has coverage limits imposed based on the age of the patient. Coverage for all other health conditions is based on medical necessity.
“Children did not choose to be born with Autism and I thank my colleagues for taking this giant step towards providing treatment for those diagnosed regardless of age,” said Delegate Bob Thomas (R-Stafford), the bills patron. “As a father of eight children, I know how important it is to families to ensure their children have every opportunity for success and this legislation will help those who need care the most.”