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Monday, January 16, 2012

Insurance Legislation in Michigan and Virginia

Laura Weber reports at Michigan Radio:
A national advocacy group for autism-treatment says Michigan tops its list of states it believes could require insurance companies to cover treatments for autistic children this year.
Rick Remington, with the New York-based group Autism Speaks, said the support of Republican leaders in the Michigan legislature along with Governor Rick Snyder bodes well for autism-treatment legislation.
"It’s been before the legislature for a number of years, it’s gotten strong support from Governor Snyder, as well as the advocacy of the lieutenant governor,” Remington said. “We’ve got strong support, bi-partisan support from the Michigan legislature. So, we’re very confident we will see a bill become law this year.”
Last week, the Virginian-Pilot reported:
Virginia parents' wait for insurance coverage for their autistic children continues.
After years of debating the issue, the legislature last year required Virgnia insurance companies to cover diagnosis and treatment costs of young children with autism spectrum disorders, capping expenses at $35,000 annually.
That policy was supposed to take effect this month.
But it hit a snag after Gov. Bob McDonnell amended the bill so that behavioral analysts must be licensed by the state for their treatments to be covered by insurance, when Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in May opined the state presently lacks that licensing ability.
Del. Thomas "Tag" Greason has filed a bill to fix that issue by giving the Board of Medicine licensing authority and directing the body to develop regulations for that purpose.
His proposal directs temporary regulations to be created within 280 days and features an emergency clause, meaning it would go into effect immediately if it can muster support from four-fifths of the members in both General Assembly chambers.
Some lawmakers suggested using national licensing standards as a fallback so coverage for children can be provided sooner. McDonnell's administration opposes that approach.
Action on the bill from Greason, R-Loudoun County, was delayed until next week after a House committee hearing Thursday morning.