Lawmakers Pass Autism Therapy Bill

May 19, 2017

An Alabama bill requiring some insurers to cover autism treatment for children is set to become law.

The state House of Representatives voted unanimously yesterday morning to go along with Senate changes and send the bill to the governor. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's press office has indicated she will sign the bill later this morning unless a legal review finds problems.

The mandate applies to employers with 51 or more employees.

Parents of children with autism have long been fighting for coverage of applied behavioral analysis therapy. They say the treatment can be life-changing, but at $100-per-hour is out of many families' financial reach.

Rep. Jim Patterson, the bill's sponsor, says the coverage "will make things better for a lot of families."

Insurance companies and business groups have raised concerns about the potential costs.