Albany, NY –– Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D/WF-Brooklyn) announced that his bill the “Dyslexia Diagnosis Access Act” (A.2898A / S.5481A) passed the Assembly Insurance Committee today.
This legislation would require that private health insurance policies pay for neuropsychological exams for the purpose of diagnosing dyslexia.
Studies indicate that as many as one in five children may have dyslexia or another phonemic awareness issue. However, lack of access to appropriate screening and diagnostic testing poses a barrier to comprehensively tracking the incidence of dyslexia and students are unlikely to receive the intervention required to overcome dyslexia without a positive diagnosis. Comprehensive neuropsychological exams are recognized as the most effective way to diagnose dyslexia. Such exams are often administered over the course of two days and currently may cost in excess of six thousand dollars but are typically not paid for by health insurance, making them unaffordable to many families.
“I was fortunate as a child that my family had the resources to pay for a neuropsychological exam. Being diagnosed with dyslexia was the first step in getting the interventions I needed that literally changed my life,” said Assemblymember Carroll. “This legislation has the potential to help thousands of children and their families. No child should be denied services because they can’t afford a diagnostic test. I want to thank Assembly Insurance Chair David Weprin and the other members of the Insurance Committee who supported this important legislation.”
“As Chair of the Insurance committee, I am proud to co-sponsor and champion the Dyslexia Diagnosis Access Act, which will ensure that coverage is provided for neuropsychological testing for those with a suspected diagnosis of dyslexia. Dyslexia affects many children around our country and the earlier we can identify it the earlier we can help our young ones thrive,” said Assemblymember David Weprin.
Educational research has unequivocally demonstrated that early identification of dyslexia, coupled with intervention and multisensory sequential phonics instruction drastically improves educational outcomes.This legislation while responding to an ongoing need of children and families also is timely given the anticipated increase in demand for neuropsychological exams as New York City ramps up its efforts to screen students for dyslexia.