A bill to mandate insurance coverage for autism treatment received a drastic makeover Thursday in the Utah Senate, disappointing hundreds of parents who hoped they could soon afford the necessary therapies for their children.
In its original form, SB55 would have required insurance coverage for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. About 18,000 such youth live in Utah, said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights.
Realizing the measure lacked the votes to pass either legislative chamber, Shiozawa pared it back Thursday, nixing the insurance and confining it to expansion of a pilot program enacted last year. He is asking to double participants to 500 and raise the age limit to seven. The current pilot program tops out at age six.