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Autism bill, other measures set to take effect

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm •  Published: December 31, 2012

"This has held true for coverage of breast cancer, prostate cancer screenings, well-baby exams and numerous other medical conditions," he said. "Insurance coverage for autism should be no different, and I would expect and hope this happens after the next round of labor contract negotiations."

Gov. Sean Parnell let the bill become law without his signature. He said the measure exempted about 20,000 small Alaska businesses from its effects while requiring insurance companies to provide coverage in policies purchased on the private market by larger employees.

Autism and autism spectrum disorder are general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

In a letter to legislative leaders in June, Parnell cited the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment and said opponents didn't provide detailed analyses for their assertions that premium costs could rise by 3 percent a year.

He said he would remain open to amending the law if compelling evidence emerges.