By Kavitha Cardoza
Some council members in D.C. want children with autism to have access to expanded therapies to reduce symptoms and improve their quality of life. Council Tommy Wells says insurance plans cover some but not all therapies. Families that can afford to can spend tens of thousands of dollars, while low income families simply have to go without care. He says expanding coverage for autism also makes financial sense.
"We know that for some youth depending on where they are in the spectrum, they'll actually be able to avoid going into special education. Special education costs at a minimum costs $ 21,000 a year while traditional public schools cost about eight or nine," Wells says.
Insurance companies will have a chance to talk about how this proposal will affect them in the coming months.
Fifteen states have required autism be included in coverage plans. Maryland and Virginia have bills pending in their legislatures.