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 mandate.
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