Health insurer to cover autism

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma health insurer says it plans to offer coverage for clients with autism.

But a state lawmaker who is passionate about the issue said the move won't derail his efforts to have all companies cover autism.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma says that the addition of the autism benefit won't affect current medical coverage available to children with autism.

Benefit enhancements are expected to include evaluation and management procedures and speech, physical and occupational therapies. The company hopes to implement the benefit in January 2010.

A bill mandating coverage of autism failed in the Legislature last spring. The measure, Senate Bill 1, has been refiled by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm of Durant and is called "Nick's Law" for an Edmond child who has autism.

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

We'll have a full report on Nick's Law tonight on First News.

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