Barclay Sponsors Legislation to Help Families with Autism

Submitted by Assmb. Will Barclay (R-Pulaski)

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) said today he is hopeful that the Governor will sign a bill that would expand health insurance coverage for screening, diagnosis and treatments of people with autism.

The bill, A10372A, of which Barclay is a sponsor, would help families by requiring insurance companies and managed care plans to cover care associated with treatment of autism spectrum disorders. The bill passed both houses during this year’s session. It is anticipated it will be delivered to the Governor soon.

“This is a good bill. It provides relief for families who suffer in frustration in their daily lives and provides hope that autism treatment will be covered by their insurance plans. It also provides a framework for the State Commissioner of Health to identify clinically-proven treatments and therapy options,” said Barclay.

In 2008, Barclay hosted a forum for families of children with autism. Many members of the community spoke at this forum and provided testament detailing what their daily lives are like living with children who are severely autistic. Constituents also identified several problems with insurance companies that did not cover treatments associated with autism. This legislation, of which Barclay is a sponsor, is in part a result of this forum. Barclay is the ranking minority member on the State Assembly’s Insurance committee. Insurance bills are reviewed by this committee.