Kansas to mandate some health coverage on autism

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is preparing to sign legislation that will require health insurance plans to provide coverage for some services for children with autism, starting next year.

Brownback scheduled a Wednesday morning signing ceremony at the satellite University of Kansas campus in Overland Park. Local legislators and parents have been vocal supporters of efforts to ensure that health plans cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism in young children.

The bill would require group health plans for companies with 51 or more employees to provide coverage for services for children under 12, starting next year. Other health plans would be required to provide coverage starting in 2016.

Some children could receive coverage for up to 1,300 hours a year of therapy known as applied behavior analysis.

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