dental toolsSPRINGFIELD – Dental patients with an autism spectrum disorder or developmental disability will have access to expanded dental insurance coverage for anesthesia under a proposal passed today by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield).

“Families will have options under this proposal to ensure that dental work is not distressing and is as pain free as possible,” Morrison said. “Unfamiliar environments can be an especially challenging experience for an individual with autism. We want to make sure that needed dental work is not left untreated, as additional health consequences can develop.”

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.

Senate Bill 111 passed the Senate this afternoon and will now head to the House for further debate.