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Third time’s a charm for autism mandate?

First Published Mar 06 2014 05:59 pm • Last Updated Mar 06 2014 08:59 pm

The third try may be the charm for an autism mandate in Utah.

SB57, an iteration of past attempts to require insurers to cover autism treatment, was unanimously endorsed by the House Business and Labor committee late Thursday and heads now to the House floor. The bill has already passed the Senate, which will have to concur with amendments made Thursday if it clears the House.

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Sponsoring Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, amended the bill to apply to large employer health plans and individual plans.

To appease insurance companies the bill also now contains an opt-out if insurers can prove to the state’s insurance commissioner that providing therapy bumped premiums for all policyholders by more than 1 percent in any given year.

The prescribed treatment plan would have to be reviewed every six months.

But plans would have to cover 600 hours of therapy annually for children between the ages of two and 10, subject to co-pays and deductibles.

–– Kirsten Stewart

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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