dentist officeSPRINGFIELD – A proposal by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) to expand dental insurance coverage for anesthesia provided to patients with an autism spectrum disorder or developmental disability advanced out of the Senate Insurance Committee this week.

“Dental procedures can be especially traumatic for an individual with autism or a developmental disability,” Morrison said. “If needed dental procedures are left untreated, however, additional health consequences can develop. Families will have options under this plan to ensure dental work is not distressing and as pain free as possible.”

Senate Bill 111 would require health insurance companies to cover anesthetics provided with dental care to patients who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or who have a developmental disability. The proposal would require coverage until an individual reaches 26 years of age. Currently, the insurance mandate expires once an individual reaches age 19.

Studies show individuals with autism spectrum disorder require health services more commonly than those without. In addition, unfamiliar environments can be a challenging experience for an individual with autism.

Senate Bill 111 passed the Senate Insurance Committee on Wednesday afternoon and will now head to the Senate floor for further debate.