State health insurers will cover children with autism in New Jersey now that Gov. Jon Corzine has signed it into law.
New Jersey joins 13 other states in requiring expanded health insurance coverage for autism and other development disabilities.
New Jersey has the highest autism rate in the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 94 children in New Jersey have the genetic-based disorder, while the national average is one in 152.
The bill requires insurers to cover the cost of diagnosis, necessary treatments, and therapeutic services such as physical, speech and occupational therapy.
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"We have made the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders a top priority in New Jersey," Corzine said in a press release. "The legislation I am signing today recognizes there must be appropriate resources to treat and care for individuals with autism, and provide their families the support they need. By doing so, we enable those affected with autism to function as independent, productive, and empowered individuals and ease the burden of their loved ones."