Sen. Rick Jeffares: Applauds Passage of Autism Insurance Coverage Legislation


Sen. Rick Jeffares: Applauds Passage of Autism Insurance Coverage Legislation

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Sen. Jeffares Applauds Passage of Autism Insurance Coverage Legislation

Sen. Rick Jeffares (R – McDonough) applauds the passage of Senate Bill 397 today, which received a vote of  51 to 0. If adopted, this legislation will require insurers to provide coverage for children up to six years old who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

“Senate Bill 397 will make an enormous difference in lives of children and families affected by this disorder,” said Sen. Rick Jeffares. “I am pleased that Georgia is on its way to providing insurance coverage for Autism like so many other states.”

Senate Bill 397 would require health care policies to include:

  • ·         Coverage for any assessments, evaluations, or tests prescribed by a physician or psychologist to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • ·         Autism Spectrum Disorder treatment if deemed medically necessary
  • ·         Unlimited doctor or specialized care visits
  • ·         Up to $35,000 annually in coverage for applied behavioral analysis (ABA) treatments
  • ·         Prescription drug coverage if it is already provided by the policy or contract

Insurers who prove the mandate would result in at least a one percent rate hike for all policies, or the costs of ABA treatment would exceed one percent of the premiums charged over the experience period, would be exempt from providing coverage for one year.

The coverage requirements outlined Senate Bill 397 does not apply to plans for small businesses with less than 10 employees. Additionally, there is no requirement to provide coverage for autism spectrum disorder for any insurance plans offered through the health exchange.

If signed into law, Georgia would join 35 other states that currently provide some form of autism insurance coverage.

Senate Bill 397 now transfers to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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