Thursday, December 18, 2008

Florida compact seeks to expand autism insurance coverage

From The AP Dec. 17:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Insurance companies, HMOs and employers must determine
whether they will sign a new compact to extend benefits for persons with autism to those with other developmental disabilities.

The Office of Insurance Regulation announced a compact Dec. 17 to extend the benefits to persons with retardation, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Prader-Willi syndrome and Down syndrome.

If insurers, HMOs and employers do not sign the compact, they still will be required to offer the statutorily required coverage, beginning April 1. Autism beneficiaries have access up to $36,000 of coverage a year with a lifetime cap of $200,000.

Florida lawmakers passed a bill in May requiring the coverage for autistic persons.