The Nevada State Assembly on Tuesday approved a bill that will mandate insurance coverage to diagnose and treat children living with autism. Parents of children with autism were in the audience, and several of them wept as the bill passed to the Senate by a vote of 39-2.
"This bill sends an incredibly powerful message not only to the state of Nevada, but to the rest of the United States," said Meredith Toddre, who has two children with autism. "Our children have been overlooked for too long."
Assembly Bill 162 will mandate that insurance companies pay up to $36,000 per year for Applied Behavioral Analysis, one of the most promising-- and expensive-- early intervention treatments for children. Many families have been pushed to the brink of financial ruin, mortgaging their homes and selling their cars to pay for a single year of ABA, which can cost more than $50,000 annually.