The state Legislature has taken another step toward mandating that South Dakota’s health insurance industry cover certain therapies for autistic children.
The Senate on Wednesday passed Senate Bill 190 which seeks to require all health insurance plans sold in the state except those sold on the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace, to cover Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, therapy. The therapy has been shown to drastically improve outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorders, said Parents for Autism Insurance Reform South Dakota lobbyist Lisa Stanley, whose son is autistic.
“If you treat these kids early and intensively, you can change their lives,” Stanley said.
Stanley’s son, Christian, was able to join a regular kindergarten class last fall thanks mainly to ABA therapy, she said.