NEW YORK (April 27, 2012) – A technical advisory group proposed under a bill voted out of the Maryland legislature could prove helpful in eventually providing families access to behavioral health treatments, but may not pre-empt the need for legislation requiring that insurers cover the benefit.
The legislation (HB1055/SB744), which is before Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, would create a technical advisory group to clarify how an habilitative care requirement for autism under existing state law should cover behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis.
“Because of the confusion, Maryland families have been unable to access treatments for their loved ones with autism,” said Judith Ursitti, Autism Speaks’ director of state government affairs.”This process is meant to remedy that situation.
“While this step is laudable, it may not supplant the need for true autism insurance reform legislation requiring insurers to cover behavioral health treatment,” she continued. “Autism Speaks will continue to work with Maryland lawmakers for true autism insurance reform. Should the technical advisory group be created, we will also work to assure that effective members are appointed and that its work is completed expeditiously.”