Delaware senator proposes insurance mandate for treating autism


Delaware is now among the growing number of states attempting to have insurance companies cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder.

Liane Sorenson

Sen. Liane Sorenson (R-6th District) has proposed SB 204, requiring all individual health benefit plans to cover autism for those ages 21 and under.

The bill caps benefits at $50,000 per year for applied behavior analysis services, a widely used treatment method for children with autism mostly uncovered by insurance. The treatment is defined in the bill as using behavioral stimuli and consequences to produce socially significant improvement in human behavior.

“Treatment” covered under the proposed legislation includes habilitative or rehabilitative care, pharmacy care, psychiatric care, and therapeutic care.

The bill was sent to the Senate Finance Committee for a report to the full legislative body.

Missouri’s Senate passed a similar bill mandating coverage of autism spectrum disorders March 18, which now advances to the House for approval.

Virginia legislators proposed three autism bills during their recently convened General Assembly session, with all three measures failing to gain legislative approval.

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