The meeting room filled to capacity several minutes before the hearing began, forcing dozens of people wearing buttons in support of the bill, HB 284, into the hallway, where they listened through open doors
Committee members made several changes to the bill. The measure now requires the Alabama Medicaid Agency to provide applied behavior therapy to children covered under the program for low-income families. The state is already under investigation by federal regulators for failing to provide the therapy, according to Rep. Jim Patterson, R-Meridianville, the sponsor of the bill.
Two other amendments also imposed caps for coverage and premium increases. Insurance policies would be required to cover the costs of therapy up to $40,000 a year for children younger than 10, $30,000 for those between the ages of 10 and 13, $20,000 for those age 14 to 18 and $10,000 for people age 19 and old