Breakthrough for Georgia autism bill

8:59 PM, Feb 20, 2014   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A bill that would require health insurance coverage for autism took a major step Thursday in the Georgia legislature. The Senate Insurance committee unanimously passed a bill described as a compromise on a bill backed by parents for the last five years.

The new bill was sponsored by Insurance Committee chairman Sen. Tim Golden (R-Valdosta), whose committee had declined to consider the original bill, known as Ava's Law. Golden's bill unanimously passed the committee Thursday. It's expected to go to a full Senate vote by the middle of next week, said Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell), sponsor of the original bill.

"There will be a new mandate for children up to six years old. It will provide up to $35,000" in coverage, Albers said. "It's huge. It's a good step in the right direction." 

Albers says 35 states require autism coverage.

Anna Bullard, who has tirelessly lobbied for the bill named after her daughter Ava, said in a text message "it's a win, and I'm grateful and excited for those families." Bullard was out of state during the vote.

If it passes the full Senate, the bill would go to the House.

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