Autism Insurance Requirement Passes House

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The North Dakota House has reversed yesterday’s vote regarding requiring health insurance policies in the state to offer expanded coverage of autism treatments.

Yesterday, the bill fell one vote short of the 48 required for passage.
Today, the bill was brought back to the House floor, over the objections of some lawmakers who say the state should not be mandating insurance coverage – especially since Blue Cross has promised to add the coverage in January.

Rep. Robin Weisz (R) Hurdsfield) “The companies are looking at covering it. We should let them do their work, let them establish it as necessary. and not have the government sticking its nose in someplace where we don’t need to because they’re going to fix the problem on their own.”

But supporters of the insurance requirement say companies have promised to add the autism coverage in the past, but did not deliver.

(Rep. Aaron McWilliams (R) Hillsboro) “Some of these families have been told for years that insurance companies would provide this coverage, and they haven’t.”
(Rep. Thomas Beadle (R) Fargo) “The Blues are a great company, they do a great job, they say they’re going to cover this. This makes sure they do. Nothing precludes them from going above and beyond this. If they put it into effect January 1st, 2018, fantastic. This makes sure that Sanford, the second largest one in the state, follows suit.”

After a close vote yesterday, today’s vote the other direction was not close – with the measure passing 61-to-29.

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