Summary of Pre-existing California Insurance Law:
Although existing law (AB 88) provided for mental health parity, in practice, health care service providers and insurers often denied coverage for autism and did not provide access to professionals with adequate training and expertise.
In 2008, Senator Don Perata proposed, and the state's Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism chose to support, legislation (Senate Bill 1563) to create an autism workgroup to review the autism and PDD-NOS guidelines adopted by the Department of Developmental Services, identify the existing gaps in insurance and health care coverage, and submit recommendations to the legislature.
This bill was vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 27, 2008.
Governor's SB 1563 Veto Message:
To the Members of the California State Senate:
I am returning Senate Bill 1563 without my signature.
The provisions of this bill are currently being accomplished administratively through the Department of Managed Health Care. Therefore, this bill is unnecessary and duplicative of existing work. For this reason, I am unable to support this bill.