SD Senate, House Strike Compromise On Autism Bill

Bill mandates coverage for children with autism

A bill that would mandate that certain insurance plans cover a costly but effective treatment for children with autism is headed to the governor’s desk.
A group of lawmakers from both chambers ironed out a compromise Thursday that would require certain insurance plans to cover applied behavioral analysis therapy. It is not currently required of insurers in South Dakota but is in 38 other states.
The bill requires coverage of ABA therapy only by providers who have a master’s or doctoral degree. Some parents say that severely restricts the number of providers they can use.
But the bill establishes a workgroup that will determine how the state should expand coverage moving forward.
The full House and Senate approved the compromise measure Thursday evening. Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s office has said he supports it.