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NC Bill Mandates Coverage For Autistic

Some say it's long overdue in North Carolina.
House bill 498 mandates that employer-based health insurance plans cover treatment for autism disorders.
The bill cleared the house last night but still has to get past the Senate.   
That legislation could provide up 36 thousand dollars in yearly care.
An Arden man who's son has autism says it's compassionate legislation that makes sense.
Ray Hemachandra's son Nicholas attends Koontz Elementary.
"Well when you know there's something out there that could make a difference for your child and you can't afford it, you feel like you're failing your child," says Ray, explaining the frustrations of many parents.

One in 50 children now have autism.   
Right now, North Carolina is among only 18 states that do not require employer-based insurance plans to cover children with autism.

"North Carolina used to be a leader in autism coverage. For good reason, it's been tough budgetarily all across the country and in north carolina," says Hemachandra. "This bill as I understand it covers applied behavior analysis... Speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy which are very important ongoingly in a child's life."

Care that's become a luxury many families simply can't afford.

By John Le
Follow John on Twitter @AbsoluteLe


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