Senate OKs bill guaranteeing autism insurance for children - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Senate OKs bill guaranteeing autism insurance for children

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ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bill requiring insurers to offer $30,000 of insurance coverage for treating autism in children.

The compromise measure was approved 54-0 Tuesday after Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle told lawmakers he was proud they had taken a stand to help children with autism. The bill has been more than two years in the making.

State Sen. Charlie Bethel, a Dalton Republican, says the bill "celebrates hope" and is a major step in fighting what he describes as an epidemic of the condition.

Bethel and state Rep. Richard Smith, a Columbus Republican, announced late last week they had worked out a deal. The bill incorporates the language of Bethel's SB1 and Smith's HB 429, which deals with end-of-life coverage for terminal patients.

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