Mississippi lawmakers are pushing bills that would require insurance
companies to offer coverage for autism screening, diagnosis and treatment on
health plans sold in the state.
Senate Bill 2581 passed the Senate on a split vote, with 39 senators voting
for the bill and six voting against it.
Sen. Will Longwitz, R-Madison, said autism treatment can cost thousands of
dollars a month, and many families can't afford services their children need.
He said 38 states already require insurance companies to cover treatment for
autism spectrum disorder, a group of developmental disorders that affect
communication, behavior and social interaction.
Opponents said Mississippi should not require insurance companies to cover
specific services. They said if the free market creates a demand, companies
will make their own decisions to offer autism coverage without a government