Bill requiring autism coverage delayed in House

Bill requiring autism coverage delayed in House (Image 1)
Bill requiring autism coverage delayed in House (Image 1)

A state proposal that would require insurance companies to add more coverage for autism patients has hit a snag.

House Bill 1265 was introduced to Tennessee lawmakers this legislative session. The bill would require insurance companies to cover therapy for autistic kids and adults.

However, a vote on HB 1265 has been pushed back until next Wednesday.

The bill's sponsor, Representative Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland) says it won't be easy to get HB 1265 passed.

Brooks said lawmakers needed time to meet with disability, business and insurance groups so at least a compromise could be reached for passage of the bill.

Families are stricken with expensive medical therapy bills.

Catherine King and her husband, Stephen, have two daughters. Their youngest, 3-year-old Baylor, has been diagnosed with autism.

“Right now no insurance companies are required in the state of Tennessee to cover therapies for any autism diagnosis,” King said.

Those therapies are not only necessary, but also expensive.

“Out of pocket, it's outrageous,” she added. “It's more than the average family can afford.”

Insurance companies in 31 other states are required to cover treatments and therapies for autism patients.

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