The Senate and House sponsors of Ava’s Law said they will press forward for passage of the Autism Insurance Reform Bill.
“We commend Senator John Albers and Representative Ben Harbin for their leadership on this issue of critical concern to thousands of Georgia families,” said Judith Ursitti, Autism Speaks director of state government affairs. “Autism Speaks joins Georgia’s autism community in calling on the legislature to pass Ava’s Law and join the 34 other states that have passed similar legislation.
The bill is named for Anna’s daughter Ava who was diagnosed at age 2.
When insurance dropped her daughter Anna Bullard turned to lawmakers for help. She’s been pressuring lawmakers since 2009.
Georgia is one of 16 states that do not require insurers to pay for therapy, and Ava’s Law would require state-regulated health plans to cover medically necessary services for the evaluation, assessment, testing, screening, diagnosing and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. A House version of the bill, (HB 309) has been introduced by Rep. Ben Harbin (R-Evans). “Passing Ava’s Law is the morally right and fiscally conservative thing to do,” says Senate Sponsor John Albers.
Anna, was told Ava would never be able to speak. Anna’s search for scientifically proven treatment for Ava led her to Early Autism Project, whose therapists began providing intensive Applied Behavior Analysis therapy to Ava when she was three years old, resulting in significant improvement.
Today, Ava is a fourth-grader in a general education classroom in Lyons, Ga., who no longer requires intensive treatment.