NEW YORK (January 17, 2013) -- Autism Speaks today formally endorsed S.365 , the 2013 Oregon autism insurance reform bill, which would require insurers to cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism.
Sponsored by Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford), the bill requires that insurance policies cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism the same as they do for physical illnesses. It would apply to state-regulated health plans for individuals and small groups. It would also create a state licensing process for ABA practitioners.
"We applaud and thank Senator Bates for his leadership on this issue of critical concern to thousands of Oregon families," said Lorri Unumb, Autism Speaks vice president for state government affairs. "Autism Speaks joins Oregon's autism community in calling on the legislature to pass S.365 and join the growing majority of states that have ended healthcare discrimination against children with autism."
The bill would:
- establish requirements for coverage of autism spectrum disorders by health benefit plans, the Public Employees' Benefit Board and the Oregon Educators Benefit Board
- require coverage for the screening, diagnosis and treatment for autism spectrum disorders
- prohibit insurers from terminating coverage or refusing to issue or renew coverage for an individual solely because the individual has been diagnosed or received treatment for autism
- prevent ASD coverage from being subject to dollar limits, deductibles, copayments or coinsurance provisions that are less favorable than the provisions that apply to physical illness
- prevent denial of coverage on the basis that the service is habilitative or rehabilitative
- cover medically necessary treatment provided in the home and the community, without affecting any obligation to provide services under an IFSP or IEP
- require the Oregon Health Licensing Agency to create a establish licensing procedure for ABA providers
The City of Portland last year began providing autism insurance benefits for city employees.