“The passage of this bill is the right thing to do,” said Albers. “Unlike many of our neighboring states, Georgia does not have any laws on the books that require health insurers to provide coverage for children with autism. As this population continues to grow, it is important we act now to provide funding for the early intervention and long-term care of children living with this disease.”
In a study conducted on early behavioral intervention for children with autism, the lifetime cost of treatment is estimated to be $3.2 million per child. With appropriate treatment and clinical intervention, the state is projected to save more than $1 million per child.
Currently, at least 32 states specifically require insurers to provide coverage for the treatment of autism, making Georgia one of the only 18 states left to adopt measures that support insurance coverage for autism.
If SB 191 is signed into law, $50,000 per year will be required to cover behavioral treatment, which is currently denied by most health care providers. This amount will be adjusted annually for inflation by the insurance commissioner.
SB 191 has been assigned to the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee and is awaiting further review.