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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Berkeley Rally for CA Mandate

The Bay Citizen reports on a rally for the California insurance mandate:
More than 100 parents and siblings of Bay Area children with autism rallied in Berkeley on Friday morning to ask Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a bill that would require health insurers to cover behavioral treatments for the discorder.

Health insurers had long resisted covering the treatments, claiming that they are not medical, but educational. In July, Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross, under pressure from state regulators, agreed to reimburse some costs for the treatments. Yet, that agreement contained a loophole allowing the insurance companies to deny payments to many of the current treatment providers.

Gov. Brown is now considering with to sign a bill, SB 946, that would close the loophole and require health plans and insurance companies to cover the treatments, according to Kristin Jacobson of Burlingame, president of the advocacy group Autism Deserves Equal Coverage.

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who sponsored the bill, were among those at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley on Friday urging the governor to sign the bill.