Bill Requiring Coverage for Autism Treatment Becomes Law in California

By Jerry Geisel

Oct. 12, 2011

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Oct. 9 that will require health insurers to provide coverage for behavioral health therapy for treatment of autism on the same basis as other medical conditions.

The measure, Senate Bill 946, will go into effect July 1, 2012, and expire on July 1, 2014.

In signing the bill, Brown noted that under the federal health care reform law, the federal government will decide what essential benefits insurers must cover. If the autism coverage mandate laid down by the California measure is not included in what federal regulators decide is essential benefits, the mandate automatically will expire, he said.

Federal regulators are developing such rules.

Jerry Geisel writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email

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Jerry Geisel writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management.

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