Jefferson City, Mo. – A revised bill that would require insurance companies to cover some of the cost of therapy for children with autism has passed the Missouri Senate.
The bill mandates that health insurance companies provide up to $45,000 a year in coverage for kids with autism age 18 and younger. That's $10,000 a year less than the original Senate bill, and it drops those ages 19 and 20 from being eligible.
Meanwhile, Republican House Member Kevin Wilson of Neosho says his chamber is sticking to the original House proposal, which only provides up to $36,000 a year in coverage.
"The House position has been very firm, and that's what we're sticking to, and I'm still very firm that we have to have licensing and registration," says Wilson. "And if that's not in the bill, as far as I'm concerned, it's a non-starter over here."
Lawmakers have until next Friday, May 14, to agree on autism legislation. The insurance coverage would only apply to a therapy called "applied behavioral analysis," which some parents of children with autism say produces dramatic improvements.