Autism bill, other measure take effect Tuesday

Starting Tuesday, health insurance policies in Alaska will be required to cover treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

A portion of that bill, setting up a task force to study such things as the state providing insurance coverage for autism, took effect earlier.

During the legislative debate, supporters cast the bill as a way to help children while also easing the financial and emotional strain that families face in getting treatments for autistic children.

Some insurance companies opposed the measure, saying it was unfair to put the burden on private companies alone.

Gov. Sean Parnell let the bill become law without his signature.

He cited the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment and said opponents didn’t provide detailed analyses for their assertions that premium costs could rise 3 percent a year.




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