House lawmakers unanimously approve autism insurance bill

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Legislation that would require health insurers to cover an intensive autism therapy has stalled in the state Senate after passing the House of Representatives unanimously.

The House on April 20 voted 100-0 to mandate coverage of applied behavioral analysis therapy, also called ABA therapy. However, the bill was not assigned to a Senate committee until a week later and the committee chairman said it will be another week before the bill has a public hearing.

Parents, such as Catey Hall of Birmingham, said they fear time will run out in the session.

Children can require 20 or more hours of therapy each week, but parents say it can be “life-changing.”

Sen. Trip Pittman, who heads the budget committee that will hear the bill, said there are questions about state costs.