Autism coverage bill now an option, not a mandate

Autism coverage bill now an option, not a mandate

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A bill that would have mandated insurance companies to provide autism treatment has been gutted and will now only require that autism coverage be offered as an option.

Bill sponsor Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, says that instead of requiring insurance companies to cover the expensive treatment, his revised bill would require insurance companies to make autism treatment available as an option for employer-sponsored plans.

The changes were made to appease lawmakers who don't want to support government mandates. With the changes, Senate Bill 43 passed in the Senate 21-4 on Friday.

It will now be sent to the House for further debate.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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