KCUR News
10:47 am
Fri April 2, 2010

Kansas Legislature Approves Pilot Program Mandating Autism Insurance Coverage

Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas legislature has approved a bill requiring autism coverage for state employees.

Senator Tim Owens is an Overland Park Republican who has two grandsons with autism. He says the bill's passage marks a big step forward.

"The state program is a very narrow program of individuals who are involved," says Owens. "But, I would hope that we can move faster than a year or two before that test case proves the value, and then we can open it up to the other families."

The bill also requires insurers to pay for orally administered cancer drugs. The legislation now goes to Governor Parkinson, who's already expressed support for it.

Insurance companies say they're opposed to a statewide mandate because it would increase premiums across the board.

In Missouri, both the House and Senate have approved bills requiring group insurance plans that are regulated by the state to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism. But the two chambers have to agree on a final version of the legislation before it can go to the governor.

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