(March 19, 2014) -- The Maine Senate has approved a bill requiring state-regulated health plans to cover autism benefits up to age 10 and sent the bill to the House. Maine's 2010 autism insurance reform law currently caps benefits at age 5.
Sponsored by Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec), the bill, LD.347, originally would have raised the age of eligibilty for benefits from 5 under current law to 21, but was amended to age 10 in committee.
The current Maine law took effect in 2011 and requires state-regulated health plans to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism through age 5. The coverage includes speech, occupational and physical therapy, as well as behavioral health treatment, such as ABA, up to $36,000 per year.
Maine was the 16th of the current 34 states to enact autism insurance reform. Three other states--Vermont, Louisiana and Texas (twice)--have amended their original laws to raise the age cap.