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125-0: Kansas House Votes For Insurance Reform

March 21, 2014

TOPEKA (March 20, 2014) -- The Kansas House of Representatives approved a compromise autism insurance reform bill 125-0 and sent the measure to the Senate. Sponsored by Rep. John Rubin (R-Shawnee) below, the bill, HB.2744, was amended to increase required weekly coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA) from 10 hours to 25 hours.

The legislation is the latest attempt to expand Kansas' 2010 autism insurance reform law which now applies only to state employees. As amended, the bill would require state-regulated large group and individual health plans to cover autism treatment for children up to the age of 12. The 25-hour per week requirement for ABA would apply to the first four years following diagnosis then diminish to 520 hours per year afterwards.

During debate on the bill, Rep. Scott Schwab of Olathe said he opposes mandates and that he was averse to "dealing with other people's health insurance." Schwab is chairman of the House Insurance Committee.

Rubin, as reported by The Wichita Eagle, suggested that any lawmaker who opposes mandates should find other work.

“In case you haven’t noticed, virtually everything we do up here is a mandate. ... We’re in the mandate business,” Rubin said. “Hopefully, we can improve the lives of these kids.”