...this legislation will help families across our state get treatments that their children with autism desperately need to have better lives...
Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) September 29, 2015
The North Carolina General Assembly has passed SB676, “Autism Health Insurance Coverage.” The bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for his signature, which would make North Carolina the 43rd state to enact autism insurance legislation.
“This is a historic day for North Carolina and the 65,000 plus families affected by autism in our state,” said Tracey Sheriff, CEO of the Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC). “Senator Apodaca and Representative McGrady’s leadership in the passage of SB676 has been invaluable. Our organization, numerous families, and many partners have worked for many years to make autism insurance a reality in North Carolina. We are excited, humbled, and grateful to see bi-partisan support across chambers for this issue.”
Highlights of the bill include:
- Represents a balanced North Carolina-based solution developed by North Carolina organizations.
- Provides a clear definition of Adaptive Behavioral Treatment that is not limited to one type of therapy, but includes Applied Behavioral Analysis as well as other evidence-based interventions, including ones that were developed here in North Carolina by TEACCH.
- Provides access for children living across the entire state by supporting a range of professional disciplines to implement intensive interventions with necessary oversight.
- Balances concerns about providing quality treatment with a cost-effective model. Provides a benefit through age 18.
- Treatments covered by the bill deliver intensive interventions that will significantly improve functional outcomes for many affected children.
Sharon Jeffries-Jones, ASNC Board Chair and mother of a young man with autism, stated, “As a parent, I know this legislation will help families across our state get treatments that their children with autism desperately need to have better lives. We applaud the legislature and the insurance industry for realizing that the time was now for autism insurance in North Carolina.”
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. As many as 1 in 58 children may be diagnosed with ASD in North Carolina, according to a prevalence study by the CDC of 8-year-old schoolchildren.
About the Autism Society of North Carolina:
- For more than 45 years, the Autism Society of North Carolina has worked to address areas of need and expand services for the autism community in North Carolina. ASNC works to directly improve the lives of individuals affected by autism by providing advocacy, education, and services. For more information, call 1-800-442-2762 or visit http://www.autismsociety-nc.org.