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Autism Bill Advances To Virginia Senate Floor

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By Rebecca Blatt

A bill advancing to Virginia's senate floor would require insurance companies to cover specialized treatments for autism. The bill would require coverage for children ages 2 to 6, with a $35,000 cap on claims. It would allow companies to opt out if the premium increased by more than 1 percent.

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted for the bill 11 to 4, despite claims from business and insurance groups that it would increase premium costs. Insurers also argue the treatment is educational rather than medical.

A similar bill died on a tie vote in a House subcommittee earlier this month.

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