Associated Press - February 9, 2009 3:45 PM ET
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Insurance companies in New Mexico would be required to provide coverage for diagnosing and treating autism under legislation approved Monday by the Senate.
Sen. Clinton Harden, R-Clovis, said the insurance mandate would help families struggling with out-of-pocket costs of providing therapy and other services for autistic children.
Under the proposal, private group and individual insurance policies must offer autism coverage. Typically, policies do not pay for screening children for autism or treatments such as occupational and speech therapy for autistic children.
The bill passed the Senate unanimously and was sent to the House for consideration.