The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill that could require individual health insurance policies and some state-regulated group policies to provide rich autism treatment benefits.
Members of the Alaska Senate voted 36-3 Sunday to pass the bill, Senate Bill 74, and the Senate later agreed to the House changes.
S.B. 74 would require insurance coverage for treatments for autism that are believed to be medically necessary.
A therapy could be considered medically necessary if the therapy could help a child “achieve or maintain maximum functional capacity in performing daily activities, taking into account both the functional capacity of the individual and the functional capacity of other persons of the individual’s age,” according to the text of S.B, 74.
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“Covered treatment includes medically necessary pharmacy care, psychiatric care, psychological care, habilitative or rehabilitative care, and therapeutic care,” according to the bill text.
The bill defines “habilitative or rehabilitative care” to include “applied behavior analysis or other structured behavioral therapies.”