Missouri Senate panel advances bill requiring autism coverage

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | 9:39 a.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — A Senate committee has advanced a bill requiring Missouri insurers to cover autism treatment for children.

The Senate legislation endorsed Tuesday would require group insurance plans to cover up to $72,000 annually of intensive behavioral treatment for people up to 21 years old. Small businesses could seek exceptions if the mandate results in premium increases of at least 5 percent.

A House committee continued work Wednesday on its own version of the bill. Committee Chairman Kevin Wilson suggested a possible compromise requiring up to $36,000 of insurance coverage, with an appeal process for families to get up to $72,000 of coverage a year.

The House committee also is considering exemptions for small businesses.


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