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Legislation Could Raise Age Cap for Autism Treatment

Tuesday Republican House leaders held a press conference to promote legislation that would require health insurers in Virginia to eliminate the age cap on health coverage for autism.

Now families can only get treatment related to their child’s autism covered until age 10. In many instances autism is not diagnosed until age 6 or 7.

Kate Fletcher is a mom of 3 boys with autism. She says her eldest son was non-verbal at 4 and likely wouldn’t be able to speak today without the 25 hours per week of intensive behavior services that he received when he was younger. “Matthew my oldest is 11 he’s already aged out of the mandate as it is. When he turned 11 he still had autism. That didn’t go away so this would be game changing for our family to continue to be able to continue those services.”

Senate budget negotiators were supportive last session of eliminating the age cap but were unable to find the funding for it. This year with a better financial outlook, it appears more likely.