Autism Bill Approved by House of Representatives

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Alabama’s House unanimously approved a bill requiring health insurers to cover expensive autism therapy, but the legislation has stalled in the state Senate. The bill will not get a public hearing in the Senate until next week and the legislative clock is rapidly winding down, with lawmakers hoping to conclude the session on May 18th. The stall has parents of children with autism frustrated. The Autism Society of Alabama says Alabama is one of only five states that does not require coverage. Blue Cross of Alabama, the state's dominant insurance company, says that, as written, the mandate would be the nation’s most liberal in terms of autism benefits, and would create costs resulting in higher premiums. The group estimates those costs could be more than $97 million dollars each year.

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