Illinois Autism Bill Passes

The Illinois Autism Insurance bill has finally passed, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Pete DiCianni, a dad who took this on almost a year ago and worked tirelessly ever since to get this done. Efforts were also made by Senator James DeLeo, Representative Skip Saviano, Representative Karen May, and many other sponsors in the General Assembly, in addition to Governor Blagojevich, Speaker Madigan, and Senate President Emil Jones.

Originally SB1900, the autism insurance bill got caught up in some political back and forth for a while, but persistence pays off--and the fact that so many of you called and urged your legislators to pass this bill.

This Tuesday, the insurance language was reintroduced by Rep. May as an amendment to SB934 and on Wednesday passed the House 109- 0. Today, the Senate voted in favor 45- 6. Immediately after the Senate vote, Governor Blagojevich issued a statement applauding the action:

"I would like to commend the Illinois General Assembly for making the right choice and voting in favor of families with autistic children. By approving Senate Bill 934, the members of the legislature have shown they overwhelmingly support my position that these families have a right to the treatment their children need and deserve. This is a cause for which I have fought diligently and I could not be more pleased that both chambers of the General Assembly have now affirmed that making treatment available to parents of autistic children is a priority we all share."

What the bill does

This landmark bill will cover up to $36,000 per year for diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, including applied behavior analysis, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological/psychiatric care. All Illinois group and individual policies are included.

Please read the bill's language for specifics and consult your employer's insurance/human resources person with any specific questions.

Click here to view Chicago News Story.

NOTE: Self-insured companies are not subject to state laws, so they are not required to provide this coverage. However, we expect that more self-insured companies will begin to offer this coverage--if you are employed by a company that is self-insured, present them with this bill and advocate for them to cover your child to the same extent.

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