Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has introduced a bill (S-126) to extend California's autism insurance reform law another five years to July 2019. The current law, which Steinberg also sponsored, stops taking effect July 1, 2014.
The law requires state-regulated health plans to cover behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, consistent with other benefits covered under their policies. Insurers are also required to maintain an "adequate" network of ABA providers.
The bill awaits committee assignment.The organization also supports legislation in Nebraska:
Autism Speaks today endorsed LB-505, a new autism insurance reform bill, which would bar state-regulated health plans in Nebraska from refusing to cover the diagnosis and treatment of treatment of autism. Nebraska is now just one of 18 states that has yet to enact reform through legislation.
Sponsored by state Senator Colby Coash, the bill would require up to $70,000 a year in coverage for behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, for the first three years of treatment. The limit would be $20,000 annually thereafter until the age of 21.
Families paying thousands of dollars a year in insurance premiums would gain coverage for the screening, diagnosis, testing and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for individuals up to the age of 21. During the past year, the reported incidence of autism has risen from 1 in every 110 American children to 1 in 88; a more recent South Korea study showed a 1 in 38 prevalence rate.