Bill would expand coverage for autism treatment

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lawmakers have approved a bill that would mandate insurance coverage of autism treatment.

The Senate committee on business and labor voted 5-2 Thursday to approve the measure. The bill would cover up to $50,000 in treatment for children under nine years old and $25,000 yearly for children under 18.

Representatives from Autism Speaks cited studies showing that almost half of children who receive treatment for autism reach normal IQ levels. But lawmakers raised concerns about defraying costs of the coverage.

More than a dozen parents and advocates lined up to urge lawmakers to approve the bill.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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