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Monday, July 20, 2015

Hawaii Governor Signs Insurance Mandate

The Politics of Autism includes an extensive discussion of insurance legislation in the states.

Autism Speaks reports:
Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed a landmark autism insurance reform bill, making Hawaii the 42nd state to require certain health insurance plans to cover treatment for autism spectrum disorders.

SB 791, sponsored by Senator Josh Green (D-Kohala/Kona), requires state-regulated insurance plans to cover medically necessary treatment for autism including behavioral health treatment, psychiatric, psychological, pharmaceutical and therapeutic care. The legislation also requires plans to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) with a maximum of $25,000 per year through 13 years of age.
"Luke's Law will have a more positive and direct impact on people's lives in Hawaii than any other bill that we passed this year. The thousands of people in Hawaii with autism have better lives, and their families and friends will get to watch them thrive,” said State Senator Josh Green, M.D.
Earlier this month, Governor Ige enacted SB 40, which requires licensure of behavior analysts and funds the implementation of a Behavior Analyst board. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the leading treatment to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior for individuals with autism.
Families impacted by autism in Hawaii also recently celebrated the enactment of, HB 119, ABLE Savings programs to allow families the opportunity to set up tax-exempt 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. Read more here.