Hawaii considers mandated autism care coverage


HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers are considering a bill that would require insurance companies to cover treatments for autism.

Families are asking lawmakers to pass the bill so they can get effective treatments for their children. They say treatment is often too costly to pay for out-of-pocket.

But the Hawaii Medical Services Association opposes the bill. The insurance company says it would be too expensive to provide the services. Instead, it wants a cost study.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate have passed versions of the bill, but they are still working out details. They are debating an age limit for children who get mandated treatment and an annual or lifetime cap.

Advocates for the bill say autism impacts everyone. They say people with autism disorders have a right to a fulfilling life.