Lawmakers in Kansas have recently proposed a bill that will make it mandatory for insurance companies to cover children with autism under current insurance plans. Advocates for the bill have been pressing for a proposal similar to the Kansas bill for years, but are not completely satisfied with the bill as it stands now. The problem lays within the amount of coverage offered for children with autism. The current prescribed treatment for autism is known as applied behavior analysis (ABA), and typically costs families around $60,000/year out of pocket. The proposed bill would cover 10 hours of ABA under Kansas insurance plans. Autism advocates say that the bill needs to cover 40.
Michael Wasmer, associate director of state government affairs for the advocacy group Autism Speaks, says that the bill is like partially treating a problem. He says that “we’re not going to be happy if your child is prescribed a certain dose of antibiotic, and they only get half of it. We’re not going to be happy if your child breaks his arm, but they only partly fix it.” If the bill passes, it will be another step towards the right direction in the way children with autism are treated legally in the United States.
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