Missouri governor to visit Thompson Center, sign health insurance legislation

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 | 5:27 p.m. CDT; updated 8:49 a.m. CDT, Thursday, June 10, 2010

COLUMBIA — Gov. Jay Nixon plans to sign legislation regarding health insurance for autism patients at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, according to a governor's news release.

The new law would require Missouri insurance providers to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism, including behavioral therapy, according to the release. Insurance policies wouldalso be required to cover up to $40,000 of applied behavioral analysis — a therapy shown to be effective in children with autism and related disorders — until age 18.

Cheryl Unterschutz, spokeswoman for the Thompson Center, said families wouldalso be at the event to speak about the benefits the new legislation could provide.

The Thompson Center is Nixon's third stop on Thursday. He will also visit St. John's Mercy Children's Hospital at 10 a.m. in St. Louis and the Burrell Autism Center at 12:45 p.m. in Springfield.

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