The state House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that would mandate insurance coverage for autism therapy.
Representatives voted 100-0 in favor of the bill yesterday. It now moves to the Alabama Senate. The bill mandates coverage of an autism treatment called applied behavioral analysis therapy. The Autism Society of Alabama says Alabama is one of only five states that does not require the coverage. Parents whose children have autism and have received the therapy have called it “life-changing”, but it’s also very expensive.
The House approval was a victory for those who have been fighting to cover the treatment that can cost about $100-per-hour for intense speech and other behavioral therapy.
The legislation still faces an uncertain future as it heads to the Senate with just one month remaining in the legislative session. The House Insurance Committee amended the bill, capping coverage and allowing businesses to drop the coverage if it causes a one percent rise in premiums.