A Missouri Senate committee on Tuesday split the difference between House and Senate versions of legislation mandating insurance coverage for children with autism.
The new compromise requires state-regulated health insurers -- about 40 percent of the market -- to cover autism spectrum disorders, including providing expensive behavioral treatment.
It caps annual spending on that treatment at $45,000, midway between the $36,000 and $55,000 caps found in versions of the measure passed by the House and Senate, respectively. It also provides coverage through age 18.
The committee unanimously approved the bill, moving it to the Senate floor for debate.
Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry's desk is the next stop for legislation requiring health insurers to cover the same illnesses for autistic children as they do children without the condition.
Sen. Jay Paul Gumm of Durant said Tuesday the measure was passed by the House and Senate and now goes to the governor to be signed into law.
Gumm says families have told him some insurers deny claims for autistic children for illnesses unrelated to the diagnosis. Oklahoma does not require health insurers to cover autism and most insurers exclude it.
Gumm says families with autistic children pay premiums to health insurers and expect to be treated fairly. He says that if an autistic child breaks an arm, they should be covered like anybody else.