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Posted at 7:31 PM ET, 01/27/2011

Bill to encourage autism treatment clears House panel

By Freddy Kunkle

A bill sponsored by a Northern Virginia Republican that would require health insurers to cover the cost of a certain form of therapy for young autistic children cleared a House committee on Thursday, filling advocates with some of the strongest hope yet that the measure could pass the General Assembly.

"We're absolutely thrilled," said Pat DiBari, president of the Virginia Autism Project. "This is a great success for the autism community."

The bill sponsored by Del. Thomas A. "Tag" Greason (R-Loudoun), would require health insurers to pay for a specialized therapy known as applied behavioral analysis, as well as occupational, speech and other therapies, for children two to six years old. The annual maximum benefit would be set at $35,000.

A similar measure sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell is in committee.

By Freddy Kunkle  | January 27, 2011; 7:31 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates  
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