SALT LAKE CITY (March 3, 2014) -- The Salt Lake Tribune conducted a live webchat on two autism insurance bills before the Legislature featuring reporter Kirsten Stewart, Jon Owen, president of the Utah Autism Coalition, Rep. Ronda Menlove and Kelly Atkinson, executive director of the Utah Health Insurance Association.
Menlove is sponsoring HB.88, which would make a pilot state program that serves 300 children with autism permanent. Menlove has said the program would address about 10 percent of the state's need.
Owen said his group supports SB.57, sponsored by Sen. Brian Shiozawa, which would require state-regulated health insurers to cover medically necessary treatments for autism, including applied behavior analysis (ABA). Owen said the bill, which passed the Senate last week, would complement Menlove's initiative by enabling families with insurance to use those benefits rather than join in the competition for benefits provided through the pilot program.