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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Insurance Legislation in West Virginia and Louisiana

The State Journal reports that the West Virginia Legislature has passed a cleanup to its autism insurance mandate:
It was never a sure thing, but a bill to provide insurance coverage for applied behavioral therapy for autism spectrum disorders will be sent to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
After a few questions in the House of Delegates March 10, the final day of the regular legislative session, members concurred with the amendments the Senate made to the bill.

House Bill 2693 passed during last year's legislative session to provide insurance coverage for children with the disorder. However that bill left a gap in coverage.
A bill introduced during this year's regular session, House Bill 4260, aimed to close that gap. It quickly and unanimously passed the House of Delegates, but stalled in the Senate.
A Thursday  release from Autism Speaks:
Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, today endorsed HB.771, which would amend Louisiana’s 2008 autism insurance reform law by raising the age cap to 21 and eliminating the $144,000 cap on lifetime benefits. Families paying thousands of dollars a year in insurance premiums would be able to continue coverage for the screening, diagnosis, testing and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for individuals aged 16 through 20 if the legislation is enacted.
Sponsored in the Louisiana House of Representatives by Rep. Franklin Foil (R-Baton Rouge), the bill would eliminate any ceiling on lifetime benefits. Under current law, coverage ends once lifetime claims reach $144,000. In addition, the bill would eliminate the current requirement that treatments be supervised by a physician or psychologist.