Insurers in Illinois should be required to absorb the skyrocketing costs of diagnosing and treating autism, Gov. Rod Blagojevich proposed Sunday.
Under the proposal, insurance companies would be bound to pay up to $36,000 annually and cover an unlimited number of medical visits for autistic children until they turned age 21, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Some states set a higher monetary limit, but the Illinois proposal would amount to the most comprehensive guarantee for autistic children in the United States, Mike McRaith, insurance director of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, told the newspaper.
Some 26,000 state residents have been diagnosed with the mysterious neurologic disorder, he said. Currently, only people with policies from large-group insurers are covered in the state, the Sun-Times said.
Blagojevich made his proposal under his power to rewrite legislation. The proposal would become law if three-fifths of the state House and Senate support it, according to the newspaper.