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5/15/17 Group Watch: BCBS Autism Deal

The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee chairman Trip Pittman said he met with Blue Cross Blue Shield’s chief executive officer and has a letter promising coverage for autism therapy staring January 1, 2018. The offer appears to have an age cap at 16 years old, while the bill pending in committee has no age limit. Some observers say BCBS is keen to avoid a legislative mandate that¬†would set a precedent for future government healthcare mandates.¬†Pittman has been one of the few vocal opponents of the autism due to his concerns about how the state would finance the benefit. According to him, the BCBS agreement would have the state provide $2.5 million for Medicaid. The autism bill passed the House 100-0. The Senate committee voted the bill out of committee on Wednesday with two amendments. One amendment caps the coverage age at 16 and the other provides an exemption for small businesses.

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