Lawmakers Unanimously Approve Autism Coverage Mandate

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama bill requiring some insurers to cover autism treatment for children is on its way to the governor.

The state House of Representatives voted unanimously Thursday morning to go along with Senate changes and send the bill to the governor. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s press office has indicated she will sign the bill unless a legal review finds problems.

The mandate applies to employers with 51, or more, employees.

Parents of children with autism had been fighting for coverage of applied behavioral analysis therapy. They said the treatment can be life-changing, but at $100-per-hour is out of many families’ financial reach.

Rep. Jim Patterson, the bill’s sponsor, said the coverage “will make things better for a lot of families.”

Insurance companies and business groups had raised concerns about costs.

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