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NC House OKs insurance mandate to cover autism

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

The state House wants to require North Carolina health insurance providers - including the plan for state employees and teachers - to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism for children of their members.
    
The chamber voted by a wide margin for the final bill Wednesday night that applies to children age 23 and under and would limit behavioral health treatment to $36,000 annually. The 105-7 margin came after vigorous debate on several amendments.
    
The bill would exempt small-employer carriers from the requirement if the new mandate raises annual premiums by more than 1 percent. A bill sponsor has said premiums went up by a few dollars a year in other states. An amendment that would have exempted more small businesses was defeated.
    
The measure now heads to the Senate.

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