Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Autism Insurance Hearing: Families Hoping for Help, Insurers Question Mandate

By KSPR News

Story Created: Jan 19, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A big monetary difference remains
between insurers and health care advocates over Missouri
legislation addressing treatment for autistic children.
House and Senate committees each heard testimony Tuesday on
bills seeking to make Missouri the 16th state to enact an autism
insurance mandate.

Advocates back a proposal that would require insurers to
annually cover up to $72,000 of a therapy known as "applied
behavioral analysis" for people up to age 21.
But insurance company lobbyists say that is to costly and too
long. An executive for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
suggested an alternative of providing up to $32,000 of coverage
annually for children through age 7, with lesser coverage for older

A spokeswoman for one of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, says lawmakers will likely vote within the next two weeks. The Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee meets every Tuesday.
Click on our video report to hear from Ozarks families who say ABA is proven to be successful yet too costly without coverage for many parents.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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