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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Autism Mandate Fails in SD Committee

The Politics of Autism includes an extensive discussion of insurance.

At KELO-TV, Angela Kennecke reports:
For parents of children with autism, coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis was anything but guaranteed. In 2015, the South Dakota legislature passed a bill requiring insurance companies cover ABA therapy. But insurance companies have now discovered a loophole in the law that's allowing them to drop the coverage for many children with autism.

Here's the loophole: the 2015 South Dakota law does require Applied Behavior Analysis be covered for children with autism in large insurance pools made up of 50 people or more. But it did not require that those who are part of small groups or hold individual policies get the same coverage.
In Sioux Falls, KSFY-TV reports:
The House State Affairs committee Wednesday killed a bill that would mandate South Dakota health insurers include autism and spectrum disorders in their coverage.
SDBA reports the committee took 90 minutes of often emotional testimony late Wednesday afternoon before calling a 7-4 vote to send the bill to the 41st day, effectively killing the bill.
Supporters from across the state packed the Capitol building’s largest committee room sharing stories of the personal and financial impacts of caring for children with autism.
Opponents, including the South Dakota Division of Insurance and Sanford Health Plans, testified that the bill is a mandate and would require the State of South Dakota pick up as much as $1.4 million or more in costs.
As the vote was called, many of the supporters in the room broke down in tears.
KSFY News earlier this month spoke with two different Sioux Falls parents who were pushing for this insurance coverage.