Oklahoma House passes insurance mandate for autism coverage

Ponca City Now - March 10, 2016 10:30 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma House has approved legislation that would require health insurers to cover autism treatment for children.

House members voted 76-20 for the measure Wednesday and sent it to the Senate, where supporters say it faces some opposition.

The bill by Republican Representative Jason Nelson of Oklahoma City requires a health benefit plan to provide coverage for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of an autism spectrum disorder in children, up to $25,000 a year.

Similar legislation was defeated in 2008 following an emotional debate between supporters and opponents who expressed concern that the autism mandate would drive up the cost of health insurance and make it unaffordable for many Oklahomans.

Nelson says 43 other states have enacted similar bills without burdensome increases in insurance costs.

 

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