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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Insurers Have Not Come Through in Utah

Though Utah has yet to join the several dozen states mandating insurance coverage of autism treatment, legislators created an autism-treatment pilot program earlier this year that was expected to be voluntarily funded, in part, with private dollars. The two-year pilot was seen by many as a compromise, providing treatment for about 350 children between the ages of 2 and 6, through a combination of Medicaid, state and private dollars.
House Speaker Becky Lockhart said Wednesday that "no one has reneged on the commitment" and that the donations would be divulged in a future news conference. Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, who sponsored the bill to create the pilot, could not be reached for comment. Two of the funders, including Zions Bank, said their pledges remained good.
"We’re still committed to providing funding for that and will do so at the appropriate time, when that’s indicated by the state," said Daron Cowley, a spokesman for Intermountain Healthcare.
Yet state officials say they have not received any funding though the law went into effect July 1. Not having the private dollars could reduce by more than half the number of children in one part of the pilot program, which is set to begin in the coming months.