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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Utah Mandate Passes State Senate

A bill that would require Utah health insurers to cover autism treatment cleared the Senate Friday 18-7 and will move to the House despite concerns over how to fund it.
Senate passage of SB57 follows weeks, if not years, of thorough debate,said sponsoring Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, who is trying to get this legislation passed for the third year.
"We’ve had the discussion," said Shiozawa, an emergency physician. "We know that this is a real disease, we know there is a cure. We’re simply asking for insurance coverage for these insureds."

Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, said though Shiozawa’s bill is compassionate, he could not support it because of the cost. . The mandate would apply not only to state-regulated private insurers, but also to the health plan for state employees and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It’s estimated costs would increase for those state-funded programs by $3 million.