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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Delaware Passes Insurance Mandate

WDMD radio (Lewes, Delaware) reports on passage of an insurance mandate:
The bill that would require insurance companies to provide coverage for screening and diagnosis services for children with autism was passed unanimously Wednesday afternoon by the Delaware House.
Senate Bill 22 will require insurance companies to cover for the screening and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in children under 21. The bill will also require insurers to provide for behavioral analysis and treatment. The CDC announced this spring that now, one out of every 88 children are diagnosed with some form of autism, including one out of every 54 boys.
The bill was passed by a 20-0 vote in the Senate on June 7, and now goes to Governor Markell for his signature. Click here to read the full bill.
Earlier, Jonathan Starkey reported at The News Journal [Wilmington, DE]:
Delaware’s legislation would come with a cost. The state’s self-insured health plan – which would not be required to cover autism treatments under the bill, but is expected to adopt its mandates – would face $2.7 million in additional charges over three years under the new mandate, according to estimates from the state Controller General’s Office. Higher premiums for state employees are possible.

William Kirk, vice president at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, said the state’s largest private insurer has not compiled cost estimates but said higher premiums are possible with a mandate.

“It’s a crystal ball sort of thing,” Kirk said. “We have no direct experience pricing this.”
See here for coverage of a previous version of the bill.