Gov. Jon Corzine Thursday signed legislation requiring New Jersey health insurers to provide diagnostic coverage for screening for autism and other developmental disabilities.
The mandate also includes therapeutic services, including any medically-necessary occupational, physical and speech therapy.
"We have made the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders a top priority in New Jersey," Corzine said at a bill-signing ceremony in New Brunswick. "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."
Under the legislation, A-2238/S-1561, insurance companies will be required to provide up to $36,000 a year for medically-necessary behavioral early intervention for all patients with autism, and with other developmental disabilities, who are under 21 years of age.