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Autism Speaks Endorses New Kansas Insurance Reform Bills

TOPEKA (February 13, 2013) -- Autism Speaks today endorsed SB.175 and HB.2317, the new autism insurance reform bills, which would extend the 2010 pilot program for state employees to cover all Kansas residents with state-regulated health plans. Since the pilot program started, the prevalence of autism nationally has been revised upwards to 1 in every 88 children.

“"We commend our legislative champions for their leadership on this issue of critical concern to thousands of Kansas families,"” said Mike Wasmer, Autism Speaks associate director for state government affairs. “"Autism Speaks joins the Kansas autism community in calling on the legislature to pass SB.175 and HB.2317 to stop healthcare discrimination against children with autism."”

The new legislation would provide up to $36,000 a year in coverage for children through age 6; between ages 7 through 18, the annual coverage would be up to $27,000. Once enacted, the measure would take effect in July. The state employee benefit would be made permanent.

The state pilot program required the State Employees Health Care Commission (SEHCC) to track the financial impact. SEHCC found that the cost of providing autism insurance benefits to state employees impacted premiums last year by 24 cents per member per month, the equivalent of a one-minute phone call. The finding was consistent with data Autism Speaks has collected nationally which has found premium impacts average 31 cents per member per month.

To learn more about the bill, go here.