Bill to Expand Autism Health Care Access Passes House Committee
Santa Fe – Today, the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee passed legislation to remove age restrictions and ensure parity with treatment for other physical conditions on health insurance for treatment of autism. House Bill 322, sponsored by Reps. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque), Karen Bash (D-Albuquerque), and Natalie Figueroa (D-Albuquerque) expands access to health care coverage for New Mexicans with autism.
House Bill 322 will prevent discrimination against New Mexico adults living with autism and bring us into compliance with federal law.
“On the backdrop of attempts to roll back the Affordable Care Act, it is critical that we pass this legislation to stop the discrimination against adults with autism. For too many New Mexicans, the cost of health care is too expensive and out-of-reach. New Mexicans with autism should not be punished for receiving treatment with outrageous costs,” said Rep. Liz Thomson.
“Access to important health care treatments – including for autism – is critical for New Mexico families. There is no reason why our health care system should discriminate against New Mexico adults with autism, and I am glad that this legislation fixes that,” said Rep. Karen Bash.
“Autism affects New Mexicans from all backgrounds and of all ages, and it does not go away when you turn 19. So it makes no sense that we would limit the treatment of autism to children and teenagers. It is time that we fix this and ensure that New Mexicans have access to good, quality health care,” said Rep. Natalie Figueroa.
The Office of Superintendent of Insurance reports that current age restrictions on autism benefits violate the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provision and are currently unenforceable. This legislation would bring New Mexico law into compliance with current federal law.
House Bill 322 now moves to the House Health and Human Services Committee.