Michigan lawmakers to work on new autism coverage plan

Dec 22, 2011

Michigan lawmakers will try again to come up with legislation to make autism treatment available under employer-sponsored health plans.

Business and insurance groups opposed earlier attempts because they said it was an unfunded mandate that would raise their costs.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says the plan will probably include a tax credit to employers who offer autism coverage.

"Unless you are actually touched directly by the effects of autism, you don't realize how crippling it can be for a family," Richardville says. "People not only can't afford the treatments, but are often forced to stay home on a 24/7 basis."

Richardville says he believes the tax credit probably won’t make everybody happy,  but it will help many autistic children in Michigan who don’t have coverage of any kind.

He says the legislature will start work on the measure next month.