Insurers in New York must now offer coverage for autism thanks to a new law signed by Governor Cuomo. The old law required insurers to offer only limited coverage for certain forms of autism, but the new law expands that requirement. Governor Cuomo says that the law will help families managing autism to find insurance that is right for their circumstance. New York is the 29th state to adopt such a law, which has been backed by several advocacy groups in the state.
Autism treatment can often cost families more than $50,000 a year, the majority of which comes from their own pockets. Before the law, insurers were able to deny claims based on certain medical treatments being unnecessary despite the rulings of a licensed physician. Cuomo believes that insurers should not be able to determine what procedures are necessary, instead leaving the issue in the hands of qualified medical professionals.
The new insurance regulations require all state health insurers to provide coverage for screenings, diagnosis and treatments up to a total of $45,000. The insurance industry is somewhat critical of the new regulation and has begun to campaign for changes to be made to the new law that would lower the cap significantly. Cuomo, however, has been closed to the idea of lowering the cap, noting that families dealing with autism should be given the resources necessary to ensure not only their financial stability, but also the health of their loved ones.