Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Who Really Filed This Bill?

From: Jeff Grisamore
Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:57 PM
To: _Republican Representatives; _Republican LAs & Staff; _Democrat Representatives; _Democrat LAs & Staff

Subject: Insurance Coverage for Autism--Invitation for Co-Sponsors by 12 Noon on Thursday, January 15th

Dear Colleagues, On January 15th, I plan to file legislation which requires insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. While I filed similar legislation last year (HB 2265) that was heard and passed out of the Health Care Policy Committee nearly unanimously—and was covered by the NBC Today Show—this year’s bill is enhanced by the collaboration of various autism groups, including the Thompson Center, Judevine, Autism Speaks and many other member groups of the Missouri Autism Coalition. Representative Scharnhorst and I had the privilege to address that coalition in November at their Summit in Jefferson City. There has also been dialogue with insurance companies toward the development of this bill.

Senator Scott Rupp, the Chair of the Missouri Autism Commission, has filed a Senate version of this bill and the House version I am filing is identical. Senator Rupp has encouraged me to file a House version of the bill. To review this bill in its Senate version, go to:

Last year I sponsored a House bill to establish the Missouri Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Senator Rupp’s version of a similar bill became law to establish the Commission that first convened last fall. Fighting and advocating for individuals with disabilities—especially autism—is among my highest legislative priorities.

With autism having reached pandemic proportions, increasing in incidence from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150, nearly 10 states have passed similar legislation into law and dozens more have it in the pipeline. Autism is one of 12 neurological disorders and it is the only one of the 12 that is excluded from insurance coverage.

I believe this is gross discrimination and is an emerging civil rights issue of our day. Research from other states and actuaries shows that such legislation would only raise premiums by an average of less than one half of one percent. While I normally oppose mandates, we already have more than 50 health care related mandates in Missouri law. This is one more we must pass.

This proposed law was a recommendation of the Missouri Blue Ribbon Panel on Autism. My passion is driven by my deceased daughter, Rebekah, whose organ and tissue donation has benefited Prader-Willi Syndrome and autism research. Freshman Senator Eric Schmitt also has a son with autism and Representative Scharnhorst lost a grandson who had autism.

As the Speaker, Pro Tem and Governor are all calling for bi-partisan cooperation, this bill to give families of children with autism access to insurance coverage is a great opportunity to pursue bi-partisanship.

If you would like to co-sponsor this bill, please reply by noon on Thursday, January 15th. Thank you!


Jeff Grisamore, District 47

P.S. If you would like to view a video of our press conference on last year’s autism insurance bill, please go to:

He must have ran out of time because he didn't file this bill. Someone else did.

HB 79 - HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR AUTISM - Lampe, SaraHouse Home Page. House Bill List. HB 79. Requires health benefit plans to include coverage for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders. Sponsor:. Lampe, Sara (138). Proposed Effective Date:. 08/28/2009. CoSponsor:. Norr, Charlie (137). etal.. LR Number:. 0480L.01I. Last Action:. 01/08/2009 - Read Second Time (H). HB79. Next Hearing:. Hearing not scheduled. Calendar:. Bill currently not on a calendar. ACTIONS. HEARINGS. CALENDAR. FISCAL NOTES. Bill Summaries for HB79. Bill Text for HB79. - Last Modified: 1/20/2009 8:52:12 PM

I thought that I had already seen this bill. Sara Lampe filed it. Not Jeff Grisamore.

HB 79 -- Health Insurance Coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sponsor: Lampe

This bill requires all health insurance carriers to provide
coverage to their members for autism spectrum disorder treatments
by January 1, 2010. Insurers are prohibited from denying
coverage to individuals who are diagnosed with the disorder.
Deductibles, co-insurance, and benefit limits for the disorder
cannot exceed those assessed for a general physical illness under
the health insurance plan.

Coverage for the disorder:

(1) Can be subject to exclusions and limitations such as
coordination of benefits, provider requirements, restrictions for
services provided by family members, and reviews of necessity for
services being utilized;

(2) Will be limited to the treatment plan prescribed by the
treating physician, and insurers can request a copy of the
treatment plan every six months;

(3) Will be provided for individuals who are diagnosed with the
disorder prior to turning nine years of age, and eligible
individuals can receive plan benefits and coverage until they
reach 16 years of age; and

(4) Will include behavioral therapies with a $50,000 per year
maximum benefit.

Certain supplemental insurance policies are exempt from the
provisions of the bill including life care contracts and
accident-only, specified disease, hospital with a fixed daily
benefit, Medicare supplement, long-term care, short-term major
medical of six months or less, or any other supplemental