Raising Women’s Voices

Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell Law Requiring Private Health Insurers To Cover Treatment for Autism

Posted in Affordability, Insurance companies by raisingwomensvoices on July 25, 2008

 A bill recently signed by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) will require private health insurance companies in the state to provide diagnosis and treatment coverage of up to $36,000 per year for residents under age 21 with autism spectrum disorder, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2009, also requires insurers to provide coverage for applied behavioral analysis therapy that experts say is a key element in treatment of the disorder.Patients needing treatments that exceed the $36,000 limit will be eligible for state Medicaid reimbursements to cover the extra expense. Health plans that provide coverage to businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be exempt from the new law.
Currently, children with autism can enroll in the state’s Medicaid program, which is managed by the Department of Public Welfare and spends about $185 million annually on medical-assistance programs for residents under age 21 with autism, the Inquirer reports. Under the new law, those children would be transferred from the Medicaid program into private health plans that could reduce state spending by about $13 million in the first year after it is implemented, according to the Inquirer.

read_more: http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=53513


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