Bill to mandate insurance coverage for autism moves through legislature

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A bill is making its way through the legislature that could mean more health insurance options for the treatment of autism in Utah.

SB 95 essentially takes away limits on age, and limits on the total number of treatment hours, for a certain autism treatment called behavioral health treatment.

“That amends the current autism law in the state of Utah,” said Kelly Atkinson, executive director of the Utah Health Insurance Association.

Atkinson says the bill if it were to pass, would only impact 24 percent of Utahns. The legislature, he says, only has the power to mandate the changes for the 24 percent of Utahns who fall under the “fully insured” category.

“Will legislators appropriate $700,000 to benefit less than 24 percent of the people that have autism?” said Atkinson.

“It’s not a level playing field for everyone,” he said.

“The myth is insurance companies are going to pay for this,” said Atkinson.

SB95 has already passed unanimously through a Senate committee.

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Glen Mills

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...