Health insurance news update for Alaska
The Alaska Legislature has passed a new bill that aims to expand the health insurance coverage for children to include treatment for autism. The bill, SB 74, was passed in the House on Sunday with a vote of 36-6. The legislation is designed to provide children who suffer from autism insurance coverage for treatments regarding their specific case. These treatments can include a wide range of speech and physical therapies. Alaska is not the first state to begin adopting such a law – 34 states currently have laws concerning autism and insurance coverage.
The bill has won favor amongst residents in the state and those with autistic children, but it had struck the nerves of some insurance companies. Opponents of the bill suggest that it is too unfriendly to the insurance industry, as private insurers are expected to bear the full weight of autism coverage. Some insurers are arguing that the bill creates an unfair burden for them. The bill initially hosted a provision which required the state to provide assistance to private insurers who offer coverage for autism care. This provision was later removed while the bill was in the House.
The bill’s supporters hold that the legislation will be a major benefit for autistic children and their families. The law will help these families attain insurance coverage for their loved ones and ensure that they get the treatment they require. Supporters believe that the law will help ease the financial stress of families with autistic loved ones. In some cases, the coverage provided through autism insurance policies can give these families access to wheelchairs and other equipment that their children may need.
Alaska lawmakers have made changes to the legislation since it was introduced, but they believe that the bill remains very beneficial for children with autism. Lawmakers have been keen to hear the concerns of the insurance industry, but have not determined if any further changes must be made to the law to make it friendlier to the industry. Insurers have not yet released information concerning the cost of autism insurance policies but are expected to do some in the coming months.