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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Good News, Bad News for Mississippi Autism Mandate Bill

In Jackson, Mississippi, The Clarion-Ledger reports:
A bill requiring the state and schools employee health insurance plan to cover autism therapies will pass out of the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, said its chairman, state Rep. Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville.

Frierson said a subcommittee passed an amended version of House Bill 542 Friday, and he will bring it up for a vote when the full committee convenes Tuesday morning.
 When asked what members might do, he said, “They’ll pass it.”
It then heads to the full House floor, which will make it the longest-surviving legislation of its kind in the eight consecutive years lawmakers have introduced autism insurance bills. Others have died in committee.

But the newly amended language places a hold on the legislation – without killing it entirely – until Frierson’s group can gather more data.

Members want information from other states that have passed similar bills. They also want input from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, which administers the state and schools employee health insurance plan.