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Missouri General Assembly Passes Autism Insurance Bill May 12, 2010

Posted by kbianews in St. Louis Public Radio.
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Missouri Capitol Building

The Missouri House and Senate both gave final approval Wednesday to legislation mandating insurance coverage for autism therapy. St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin reports.

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The bill requires health insurance companies to pay up to $40,000 per year for Applied Behavioral Analysis. It’s a form of autism therapy that has a successful track, but can also cost tens of thousands of dollars. GOP Senator Eric Schmitt of St. Louis County has a son with autism:

“I’ve been fortunate to be able to pay out of pocket for a lot of the things that Stephen needs, but there’s a lot of families that just aren’t in that position.”

Kids with autism age 18 and younger are eligible for coverage. The bill also allows small businesses to seek exemption from providing coverage if their insurance premiums rise more than 2.5 percent a year. The bill now goes to Gov. Nixon, who made autism coverage one of his top priorities this year. In Jefferson City, I’m Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio.

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