Compact Seeks to Expand Autism Coverage

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Insurance companies, HMOs and employers
must determine whether they will sign a new compact to extend
benefits for persons with autism to those with other developmental

The Office of Insurance Regulation announced a compact Wednesday
to extend the benefits to persons with retardation, cerebral palsy,
spina bifida, Prader-Willi syndrome and Down syndrome.

If insurers, HMOs and employers do not sign the compact, they still will be required to offer the statutorily required coverage, beginning April 1. Autism beneficiaries have access up to $36,000 of coverage a year with a lifetime cap of $200,000.

Florida lawmakers passed a bill in May requiring the coverage for autistic persons.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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