Connecticut Seal

Senate Bill No. 1029

Public Act No. 13-84

AN ACT CONCERNING HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 38a-488b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Each individual health insurance policy providing coverage of the type specified in subdivisions (1), (2), (4), (11) and (12) of section 38a-469 that is delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, amended or continued in this state [on or after January 1, 2009,] shall provide coverage for physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy services for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder, as set forth in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", to the extent such services are a covered benefit for other diseases and conditions under such policy, except that coverage for an insured under such policy who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder prior to the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" shall be provided in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Each such policy shall maintain, for any insured diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder prior to the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", coverage for physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy services for the treatment of said disorder at the benefit levels, at a minimum, provided immediately preceding the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders".

Sec. 2. Section 38a-514b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Applied behavior analysis" means the design, implementation and evaluation of environmental modifications, using behavioral stimuli and consequences, including the use of direct observation, measurement and functional analysis of the relationship between environment and behavior, to produce socially significant improvement in human behavior.

(2) "Autism services provider" means any person, entity or group that provides treatment for autism spectrum disorder pursuant to this section.

(3) "Autism spectrum disorder" means a pervasive developmental disorder set forth in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", including, but not limited to, Autistic Disorder, Rett's Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger's Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

(4) "Behavioral therapy" means any interactive behavioral therapies derived from evidence-based research, including, but not limited to, applied behavior analysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, or other therapies supported by empirical evidence of the effective treatment of individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, that are: (A) Provided to children less than fifteen years of age; and (B) provided or supervised by (i) a behavior analyst who is certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, (ii) a licensed physician, or (iii) a licensed psychologist. For the purposes of this subdivision, behavioral therapy is "supervised by" such behavior analyst, licensed physician or licensed psychologist when such supervision entails at least one hour of face-to-face supervision of the autism services provider by such behavior analyst, licensed physician or licensed psychologist for each ten hours of behavioral therapy provided by the supervised provider.

(5) "Diagnosis" means the medically necessary assessment, evaluation or testing performed by a licensed physician, licensed psychologist or licensed clinical social worker to determine if an individual has an autism spectrum disorder.

(b) Each group health insurance policy providing coverage of the type specified in subdivisions (1), (2), (4), (11) and (12) of section 38a-469 that is delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, amended or continued in this state shall provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder, except that coverage for an insured under such policy who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder prior to the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" shall be provided in accordance with subsection (i) of this section. For the purposes of this section and section 38a-513c, an autism spectrum disorder shall be considered an illness.

(c) Such policy shall provide coverage for the following treatments, provided such treatments are (1) medically necessary, and (2) identified and ordered by a licensed physician, licensed psychologist or licensed clinical social worker for an insured who is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, in accordance with a treatment plan developed by a licensed physician, licensed psychologist or licensed clinical social worker pursuant to a comprehensive evaluation or reevaluation of the insured:

(A) Behavioral therapy;

(B) Prescription drugs, to the extent prescription drugs are a covered benefit for other diseases and conditions under such policy, prescribed by a licensed physician, licensed physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse for the treatment of symptoms and comorbidities of autism spectrum disorder;

(C) Direct psychiatric or consultative services provided by a licensed psychiatrist;

(D) Direct psychological or consultative services provided by a licensed psychologist;

(E) Physical therapy provided by a licensed physical therapist;

(F) Speech and language pathology services provided by a licensed speech and language pathologist; and

(G) Occupational therapy provided by a licensed occupational therapist.

(d) Such policy may limit the coverage for behavioral therapy to a yearly benefit of fifty thousand dollars for a child who is less than nine years of age, thirty-five thousand dollars for a child who is at least nine years of age and less than thirteen years of age and twenty-five thousand dollars for a child who is at least thirteen years of age and less than fifteen years of age.

(e) Such policy shall not impose (1) any limits on the number of visits an insured may make to an autism services provider pursuant to a treatment plan on any basis other than a lack of medical necessity, or (2) a coinsurance, copayment, deductible or other out-of-pocket expense for such coverage that places a greater financial burden on an insured for access to the diagnosis and treatment of an autism spectrum disorder than for the diagnosis and treatment of any other medical, surgical or physical health condition under such policy.

(f) (1) Except for treatments and services received by an insured in an inpatient setting, an insurer, health care center, hospital service corporation, medical service corporation or fraternal benefit society may review a treatment plan developed as set forth in subsection (c) of this section for such insured, in accordance with its utilization review requirements, not more than once every six months unless such insured's licensed physician, licensed psychologist or licensed clinical social worker agrees that a more frequent review is necessary or changes such insured's treatment plan.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the results of a diagnosis shall be valid for a period of not less than twelve months, unless such insured's licensed physician, licensed psychologist or licensed clinical social worker determines a shorter period is appropriate or changes the results of such insured's diagnosis.

(g) Coverage required under this section may be subject to the other general exclusions and limitations of the group health insurance policy, including, but not limited to, coordination of benefits, participating provider requirements, restrictions on services provided by family or household members and case management provisions, except that any utilization review shall be performed in accordance with subsection (f) of this section.

(h) (1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or affect (A) any other covered benefits available to an insured under (i) such group health insurance policy, (ii) section 38a-514, as amended by this act, or (iii) section 38a-516a, as amended by this act, (B) any obligation to provide services to an individual under an individualized education program pursuant to section 10-76d, or (C) any obligation imposed on a public school by the Individual With Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC 1400 et seq. , as amended from time to time.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require such group health insurance policy to provide reimbursement for special education and related services provided to an insured pursuant to section 10-76d, unless otherwise required by state or federal law.

(i) Each such group health insurance policy shall maintain, for any insured diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder prior to the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", coverage as set forth in this section for the treatment of said disorder at the benefit levels, at a minimum, provided immediately preceding the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders".

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 38a-488a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Each individual health insurance policy providing coverage of the type specified in subdivisions (1), (2), (4), (11) and (12) of section 38a-469 delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, amended or continued in this state shall provide benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of mental or nervous conditions. For the purposes of this section, "mental or nervous conditions" means mental disorders, as defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders". "Mental or nervous conditions" does not include (1) mental retardation, (2) learning disorders, (3) motor skills disorders, (4) communication disorders, (5) caffeine-related disorders, (6) relational problems, and (7) additional conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention, that are not otherwise defined as mental disorders in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", except that coverage for an insured under such policy who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder prior to the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" shall be provided in accordance with subsection (b) of section 38a-488b, as amended by this act.

Sec. 4. Subsection (a) of section 38a-514 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, each group health insurance policy, providing coverage of the type specified in subdivisions (1), (2), (4), (11) and (12) of section 38a-469, delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, amended or continued in this state shall provide benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of mental or nervous conditions. For the purposes of this section, "mental or nervous conditions" means mental disorders, as defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders". "Mental or nervous conditions" does not include (1) mental retardation, (2) learning disorders, (3) motor skills disorders, (4) communication disorders, (5) caffeine-related disorders, (6) relational problems, and (7) additional conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention, that are not otherwise defined as mental disorders in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", except that coverage for an insured under such policy who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder prior to the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" shall be provided in accordance with subsection (i) of section 38a-514b, as amended by this act.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 38a-490a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Each individual health insurance policy providing coverage of the type specified in subdivisions (1), (2), (4), (11) and (12) of section 38a-469 delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, amended or continued in this state shall provide coverage for medically necessary early intervention services provided as part of an individualized family service plan pursuant to section 17a-248e. Such policy shall (1) provide coverage for such services provided by qualified personnel, as defined in section 17a-248, for a child from birth until the child's third birthday, and (2) maintain, for any insured diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder prior to the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", coverage for such services for the treatment of said disorder at the benefit levels, at a minimum, provided immediately preceding the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders".

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 38a-516a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Each group health insurance policy providing coverage of the type specified in subdivisions (1), (2), (4), (11) and (12) of section 38a-469 delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, amended or continued in this state shall provide coverage for medically necessary early intervention services provided as part of an individualized family service plan pursuant to section 17a-248e. Such policy shall (1) provide coverage for such services provided by qualified personnel, as defined in section 17a-248, for a child from birth until the child's third birthday, and (2) maintain, for any insured diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder prior to the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", coverage for such services for the treatment of said disorder at the benefit levels, at a minimum, provided immediately preceding the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders".

Approved June 5, 2013