Governor signs law to expand health coverage for autism

Nov 1, 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law Tuesday that requires health insurance companies to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism disorders. 

The measure was approved unanimously by both the state Senate and Assembly in June.  The law will take effect one year from Tuesday.

Early treatments and interventions can help improve the quality of life for those affected with autism spectrum disorders.

The legislation is expected to help families pay for expensive health care costs related to treating loved ones with autistic disorders.

"This bill will help thousands of families across New York who struggle to obtain proper care for loved ones affected by autism spectrum disorder," Governor Cuomo said. "When it comes to autism, early diagnosis and treatment is essential, and it is inexcusable that financial constraints would stand in the way of a brighter future for those affected by this disorder. This bill opens the door to families seeking earlier treatment and better results. I thank Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman Morelle for sponsoring this much-needed legislation."

Previously, state law only required that insurance coverage not exclude the diagnosis and treatment of autism disorder.

An estimated 30,000 children under age 19 across the state are affected.