Sen. Green heralds passage of autism legislation; bills on way to Gov. Snyder for signing

LANSING, Mich.—Autism spectrum disorders are a signature away from being covered by health insurance plans in Michigan, after measures were finalized by the state Legislature and sent to Gov. Snyder today, said Sen. Mike Green, who was a primary sponsor.

“Michigan will now join 29 other states in enacting legislation that extends health insurance coverage under state law to the treatment of autism spectrum disorders – diagnosed in nearly 15,000 children in the state,” said Green, R-Mayville. “I look forward to Governor Snyder signing this landmark legislation and to seeing the lives of those affected by autism improve because of the therapies and treatments they will now have access to.”

One in 88 children are diagnosed with a form of autism. It is more commonly diagnosed in children than diabetes, cancer, and AIDS combined, all of which currently are covered under Michigan law.

According to research, the early diagnosis and treatment of autistic disorders results in 50 percent of patients recovering typical functions, helping them to have full lives. Other states have demonstrated that early intervention also reduces the need for K-12 special education services, saving taxpayers an estimated $200,000 per child. It is estimated that without medical treatment, the average societal cost of caring for one person with autism is $3.7 million.