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Gathering to Celebrate Autism Insurance Reform Bill this evening at 6:30 p.m.

Senate Bill 74 Becomes Law Helping Hundreds of Alaskan Families

ANCHORAGE – Today advocates, families and lawmakers will celebrate Alaska becoming the 31st state to enact autism insurance reform.    Senate Bill 74, sponsored by Senator Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage), requires insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders, speech and language therapies, occupational and physical therapies, and behavioral interventions. The new law also requires private health insurance plans to cover the diagnosis, testing, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders for children and young adults up to the age of 21 with no cap on benefits.

This legislation, originally introduced three years ago by Representative Pete Petersen (D-Anchorage), was approved by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House and Senate, but the Governor chose to return the bill to the Legislature without his signature. Under Alaska law, bills without the governor’s signature become law after a 20-day period, which expires today.

To mark this historic reform, the Key Coalition of Alaska is hosting “The SB 74 Celebration” tonight at the Hope Community Resources Learning Center.  The gathering is an opportunity to celebrate the legislation and the life-changing effect this bill will have on those families touched by autism.

WHAT:  Key Coalition’s SB 74 Celebration

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

TIME:  6:30 p.m. Refreshments, 7:00 p.m. Short Program

WHERE:  Hope Community Resources Learning Center

ADDRESS:  570 W. 53rd Street, Anchorage

 

All Alaskans and members of the members of the media are welcome and encouraged to attend the event.  Hotdogs and hamburgers will be served at 6:30 p.m. with a short program to begin at 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please call Amory Lelake in the Office of Senator Johnny Ellis at (907) 269-0169.

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