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Ga. Senate passes bill requiring coverage for autism therapy
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ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia state Senate has passed a bill requiring insurance companies to cover autism therapy for children younger than 6.

Lawmakers passed the bill, 54-0 on Thursday. Supporters say early intervention can help children with autism learn to speak and lower later health care costs.

The bill would cap coverage at $35,000 and wouldn't apply to companies with 10 or fewer workers. It is the first piece of legislation voted on by the Senate this year.

Sponsor Republican Sen. Charlie Bethel says one in 64 children in Georgia will be diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

Senate Bill 1 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration. A similar proposal stalled there last year. House Speaker David Ralston has said he doesn't support higher insurance costs for small business owners.