States mandating autism insurance coverage

Copies of the laws are enclosed.s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) classifies autism within the category of disorders usually diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence.

The law took effect last week, but the mandate on insurance companies won't show up until new policies are issued beginning Jan. House Bill 463 requires most private health insurance policies to include coverage for autism spectrum disorders. Kasich had already signed an executive order requiring autism coverage through Medicaid and policies for public employees several years ago.By law, health insurance policies in Connecticut are required to cover certain mental illnesses.The statute appears to include coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism, though it is unclear whether such treatment includes physical, speech, and occupational therapy.The legislature could refine the state insurance laws to specify certain coverage requirements for autism.Sixteen other states have insurance laws relating to autism coverage, including 10 that require coverage for autism through their laws mandating coverage for mental illness.Screening without cost-sharing may be especially important for the early detection and diagnosis of autism.

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