Bill that would mandate autism coverage killed in committee

PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) - The House State Affairs committee Wednesday killed a bill that would mandate South Dakota health insurers include autism and spectrum disorders in their coverage.

Photo courtesy of SDBA

SDBA reports the committee took 90 minutes of often emotional testimony late Wednesday afternoon before calling a 7-4 vote to send the bill to the 41st day, effectively killing the bill.

Supporters from across the state packed the Capitol building’s largest committee room sharing stories of the personal and financial impacts of caring for children with autism.

Opponents, including the South Dakota Division of Insurance and Sanford Health Plans, testified that the bill is a mandate and would require the State of South Dakota pick up as much as $1.4 million or more in costs.

As the vote was called, many of the supporters in the room broke down in tears.

KSFY News earlier this month spoke with two different Sioux Falls parents who were pushing for this insurance coverage.