The Minnesota Legislature has sent Governor Mark Dayton a bill that would make Minnesota the 33rd state, and the first in 2013, to enact autism insurance reform. The reforms are included in an omnibus health care bill approved late Friday night 73-61 by the House of Representatives and today 39-28 by the Senate.
Governor Dayton is expected to sign the bill which would take effect in January 2014.
Sponsored by Rep. Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester), the measure applies to state-regulated large group health plans which would be required to cover speech, occupational, physical and behavioral therapy, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), up to age 18. An estimated 750,000 state residents would gain coverage. State employees will be added no later than 2016.
The Dayton administration hopes to also extend coverage to the small group and individual markets through the health exchanges it creates under the Affordable Care Act.