The people of Kansas welcomed autism coverage in state insurance plans, as they became the 18th state to adopt autism insurance reform. The health plan is not perfect but has been well received by many.
House Bill 2160 requires Kansas’s health insurance to provide state employees with autism coverage. This will only be valid if there is evidence of medical necessity through autism therapy including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
Governor Parkinson said the new law represented “a great beginning for putting us on a path toward providing coverage for autism in all health insurance plans.”
However, the new law does not come without shortcomings. Senator Tim Owens commented, “the state program is a very narrow program of individuals who are involved.” He may be referring to the way the new law also caps the amount of support children with autism can receive.
If enrolled in the state employee health insurance plan, children are covered up to age 7 with $36,000 worth of treatment. Children with autism ages 7 to 19 are covered u to $27,000. An estimated 100,000 people are enrolled in this state employee health plan.
Despite the limits, Mike Wasmer, President of the Kansas Coalition for Autism Legislation, seem hopeful. He said, “This is not the end, but rather the start of getting autism treatment to all in need in the state of Kansas.”