Missouri House endorses bill mandating autism insurance

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A mandate for insurers to cover treatment for children with autism has cleared an important hurdle in the Missouri House.

Representatives gave initial approval Tuesday night to a bill that would require group insurance policies to cover up to $36,000 annually of behavioral therapy for children age 18 and younger.

Autism insurance legislation had passed the Senate last year but never came to a vote in the House, where some members were concerned about its affect on insurance premiums.

This year's bill needs to pass another House vote to go to the Senate.

Senators already have given initial approval to their own version, which would provide up to $55,000 of annual behavioral treatment for people with autism up to age 21.