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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Insurance Action in Georgia and Virginia

Dave Williams reports at The Atlanta Business Chronicle:
The Georgia Senate approved compromise legislation Tuesday requiring insurance companies to cover young children with autism.
Senators passed an autism bill back in January, but it ground to a halt in the House of Representatives over cost concerns.
After state Rep. Richard Smith, R-Columbus, chairman of the House Insurance Committee announced last week he would not allow a vote on the Senate bill, he met with his Senate counterpart to work out an agreement.
Under the compromise, which senators passed unanimously, the autism coverage mandate would be limited to children six years of age or younger. Payouts would be capped at $30,000 a year.
The bill also would exempt companies with 10 employees or fewer, while insurance companies wouldn’t have to offer autism coverage if they can demonstrate it would drive up their premiums by more than 1 percent.
The legislation now goes back to the House, which is expected to pass it in keeping with the agreement.
Joe Dashiell reports at WDBJ:
Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed legislation that should offer more help to Virginia families dealing with autism.

House Bill 1940 extends the requirement that health insurance providers cover treatments for children with autism. Under the new law, the age limit will rise from six to ten years old, and families say that change will make a big difference.

Angie McKissick is with the Piedmont Autism Action Group.

"It could mean the difference of a child talking and being able to function in society," McKissick told WDBJ7, "gaining more skills that they need to be able to live a productivelife, so it's huge. "