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Politics & Government

Autism insurance coverage campaign begins again

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Michigan lawmakers will again consider requiring insurance companies to cover autism treatment.

A new effort is under way to require Michigan insurance companies to cover some treatments for autism. Statistics  show 1 in 150 children is born with the disorder.

State Senator Tupac Hunter says it costs Michigan families an average of $30,000 out of pocket each year to treat an autistic child – an expense most can’t afford.

Hunter says parents and advocacy groups were disappointed when last year’s autism insurance legislation stalled in the Senate.

"They are fighting hard, educating people, galvanizing parents," Hunter says. "I'm just prayerful that the hearts of the legislators will change, and that they'll see the need to get this done. I think it's more than reasonable."

Hunter believes the support of new Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley will help persuade lawmakers to pass the insurance requirement.

Calley has a young daughter with autism.