Advocates call for vote on ‘Ava’s Law’ in Georgia

ATLANTA — Advocates of proposed autism insurance reform rallied today at the state Capitol urging the chairs of the state legislature’s Insurance and Labor Committee to allow the committee to vote on Ava’s Law.

ava-300x218Ava’s Law (Senate Bill 191 and House Bill 309), which is sponsored by state Sen. John Albers, R-Sandy Springs, and state Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, would require state-regulated health plans to cover medically necessary services for the evaluation, assessment, testing, screening, diagnosing and treatment of autism spectrum disorder.

“Members of the Insurance and Labor Committee tell us they want to vote on Ava’s Law, but they’re not getting the chance,” Anna Bullard, the mother of Ava, for whom the proposed law is named, said in a statement.

The bill has been in the committee since 2009, but hasn’t moved, according to advocates for the measure.

“Increasing funding and support for Autism is the right thing to do for Georgia’s children and families suffering with Autism,” Albers said in a statement. “As this population only continues to grow, it is important we act now to provide funding for the early intervention and long-term care of children living with this disorder.”

According to the Autism Society of America, more than 1 million people live with an Autism spectrum disorder, which costs the United States $90 million in treatment a year. The lifetime cost of raising a child with autism can reach upwards of $5 million.

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