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SD House requires insurers provide autism benefits

PIERRE -- Insurance providers should cover autism spectrum disorder in South Dakota, the state House of Representatives decided Monday.

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House members voted 57-12 to send HB 1257 to the Senate for consideration.

"For seven dollars a year? That's nothing. That's peanuts. We blow that out of our gas tank driving around town every day," said Rep. Charlie Hoffman, R-Eureka.

The bill's sponsor is Rep. Scott Munsterman, R-Brookings. He said a Wellmark witness testified the coverage would cost $2 to $7 per person annually.

"These kids are salvageable and we want to save as many as we can," said Rep. Scott Ecklund, R-Brandon. He is a medical doctor.

More than 30 other states have autism mandates, according to Rep. Melissa Magstadt, R-Watertown. "We need this for our kids," she said.

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