Previous posts discussed the mandate bill in Alaska. The Associated Press reports that its insurance provisions take effect today.
One of the new laws set to take effect in Alaska will require health insurance policies to cover treatment of autism spectrum disorders... A part of the autism bill took effect earlier, establishing a task force to study issues such as the state providing insurance coverage for the disorder.
Some insurance companies opposed the measure, saying it was unfair to put the burden on private companies.
However, Amy Carter, a spokeswoman for Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, recently said the insurer expects rates to rise at a lower level than initially predicted.
Sen. Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage, a primary sponsor of the Senate bill, said in an email that "the state has consistently adopted state-mandated coverage as part of its standard health plan for state employees," even though there was no requirement to do so.
"This has held true for coverage of breast cancer, prostate cancer screenings, well-baby exams and numerous other medical conditions," he said. "Insurance coverage for autism should be no different, and I would expect and hope this happens after the next round of labor contract negotiations."