With the North Carolina General Assembly’s long session now concluded, legislation that would have required all health insurance companies in the state to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism won’t become law this year.
But the Autism Society of North Carolina, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Raleigh, says the complementary Senate and House bills in committee could be revisited during the General Assembly’s short session beginning around in May 2012. ...
In addition to cost issues, opposition to the proposed legislation has come from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the largest health insurance provider in the state with about 3.7 million customers. The health insurer maintains that the legislation is unnecessary because BCBSNC already provides coverage of the diagnosis and treatment of autism.
But a point of difference relates to applied behavior analysis, or ABA, therapy for people with autism. The insurance company’s medical directors have determined ABA therapy is educational rather than medical. Others like the Autism Society of North Carolina disagree, saying medical research has indicated that ABA therapy is a medical and not educational treatment.
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