Rep. Harbin To Continue Push For Autism Insurance Reform Bill In - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Rep. Harbin To Continue Push For Autism Insurance Reform Bill In 2014

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ATLANTA— State Representative Ben Harbin (R-Evans) recently announced that he will continue to push for passage of "Ava's Law," an autism insurance reform bill, in the 2014 legislative session.  House Bill 309, otherwise known as "Ava's Law," was first introduced by Rep. Harbin in the 2013 legislative session.

"This is an important piece of legislation, and I will continue to stand behind this bill," said Rep. Harbin. "Ava's Law has the potential to help so many of Georgia's children and families by allowing them to seek early treatment without the financial strain."

Representative Harbin restated his commitment and plans to take up this legislation again in 2014 following a meeting by the Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Health Insurance Benefits.  If passed, Ava's Law would require insurance companies to pay for "evidence-driven treatment," or treatment that has been scientifically shown to help kids with an autism spectrum disorder.  Georgia is one of only 16 states that do not require insurers to pay for autism treatment.

The bill is named after Ava Bullard, whose mother Anna Bullard of Lyons, Georgia, has helped rally Georgia families behind the legislation.

The Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Health Insurance Benefits was created by Senate Bill 17 which was passed in 2011.  The commission is charged with conducting a "cost-benefit" review of several bills before the Legislature, including Ava's Law.  The commission members were appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston.

(Press release written by Betsy Lynch)

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