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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mandate Languishes in North Carolina Senate

The House plan would only apply to state-regulated health plans, which make up about half of the plans in the state, according to Autism Speaks. Self-funded plans run by larger companies or plans governed under the Affordable Care Act would not qualify. The bill also allows small businesses to opt out their premiums increase more than 1 percent over 12 months and says that ABA providers must be regulated by the state.
Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, who manages the flow of legislation in the Senate, said last year that he would take up the bill this Spring, according to [Autism Speaks official Lorri] Unumb. But there has been no sign autism will make it to the floor with only a few weeks left of the session.
But last month the State Health Plan Board of Trustees voted to expand coverage for ABA to state employees, which could include legislators.
"Lawmakers do, or ought to feel additional pressure (to pass a bill)," Unumb said.
The House plan would cap coverage for ABA therapy at $36,000 per year and only children who are covered under state-regulated plans and who were diagnosed before age 8 would be eligible. The coverage for the therapy would stop at age 23.