NC autism services mandate for insurers clears Senate

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina-regulated health insurance plans would be required to cover autism diagnosis and treatment under legislation that has support from a number of advocacy groups and now most state senators.

The Senate voted 47-1 Tuesday to back the insurance mandate. The agreement was hammered out by several medical organizations, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest insurer. The bill does allow insurers to limit treatment to patients under 18 years old and set a coverage ceiling of $40,000 per year.

The requirement would cover a range of services, and not just one kind of therapy as a 2013 House bill required.

One national group – Autism Speaks – has not endorsed the measure and wants changes made in the House, the bill’s next stop.

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