Governor Northam signs law to remove autism health coverage age cap

Posted at 2:55 PM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 14:57:18-04

RICHMOND, Va. – Governor Ralph Northam has signed a bill that will remove the age cap for autism coverage and increase access to health coverage.

Senate Bill 1693, sponsored by Senator Jill Vogel, and House Bill 2577, sponsored by Delegate Robert “Bob” Thomas, will ensure anyone with autism will have access to health insurance.

Current law only requires coverage be provided to individuals between ages two and ten.

The legislation expands healthcare access for nearly 10,000 Virginians of all ages living with autism.

“One of my primary motivations for entering public service was finding an avenue to address the frustrations and challenges that I would routinely encounter as a physician trying to help families navigate the insurance landscape,” said Governor Northam.

The Centers for Disease Control calls autism the fastest growing developmental disability. They estimate that it impacts 1 in 59 children in the US.

“I am so grateful for the legislature’s and Governor’s support of this bill. With passage, we finally give people of all ages with autism spectrum disorder access to health insurance coverage,” said Vogel.

The legislation will be effective beginning January 1, 2020.