The Ohio Chamber of Commerce said Friday that Kasich's decision will increase health care costs for small businesses.
"Their options for controlling these costs are limited, and today's decision jeopardizes the health benefits many families count on," said Keith Lake, a lobbyist for the chamber.
Health experts say that one out of 88 children has autism, which usually shows up in early childhood. It restricts a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. There is no cure for autism, but early treatment can make a big difference.
"With early intervention, kids with autism do better at school, find employment, and become more independent, connected adults," Kasich said in a statement.
Several states, including Michigan, have approved changes mandating autism coverage within the past year.
Advocacy groups and health organizations were thrilled that Ohio has joined the other states.
"Thousands of Ohio children will have access to services to help them learn, and keep or improve skills and functional abilities that they may not be otherwise developing," said John Stacy, executive director of the Autism Society of Ohio.