Under the Dome

Senate OKs autism coverage

Insurance coverage for a range of autism disorders would be expanded in a bill the Senate overwhelmingly passed on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 676, sponsored by Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Republican from Hendersonville, and Sen. Joyce Krawiec, a Republican from Kernersville, is the Senate’s response to unsuccessful House legislation from previous sessions.

It was put together by a large group of medical providers, advocates and insurers.

The bill would expand coverage for screening, diagnosis and treatment to state-regulated health plans. Sometimes expensive behavioral therapy treatments would be covered for children up to 18 years old; with benefits capped at $40,000 a year.

Sponsors said the legislation goes farther than previous proposals by including more options for adaptive behavioral treatment.

The bill now goes to the House.