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The Florida Statutes

The 2009 Florida Statutes

Chapter 627
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Section 627.6686, Florida Statutes 2009

627.6686  Coverage for individuals with autism spectrum disorder required; exception.--

(1)  This section and s. 641.31098 may be cited as the "Steven A. Geller Autism Coverage Act."

(2)  As used in this section, the term:

(a)  "Applied behavior analysis" means the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental modifications, using behavioral stimuli and consequences, to produce socially significant improvement in human behavior, including, but not limited to, the use of direct observation, measurement, and functional analysis of the relations between environment and behavior.

(b)  "Autism spectrum disorder" means any of the following disorders as defined in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association:

1.  Autistic disorder.

2.  Asperger's syndrome.

3.  Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.

(c)  "Eligible individual" means an individual under 18 years of age or an individual 18 years of age or older who is in high school who has been diagnosed as having a developmental disability at 8 years of age or younger.

(d)  "Health insurance plan" means a group health insurance policy or group health benefit plan offered by an insurer which includes the state group insurance program provided under s. 110.123. The term does not include any health insurance plan offered in the individual market, any health insurance plan that is individually underwritten, or any health insurance plan provided to a small employer.

(e)  "Insurer" means an insurer providing health insurance coverage, which is licensed to engage in the business of insurance in this state and is subject to insurance regulation.

(3)  A health insurance plan issued or renewed on or after April 1, 2009, shall provide coverage to an eligible individual for:

(a)  Well-baby and well-child screening for diagnosing the presence of autism spectrum disorder.

(b)  Treatment of autism spectrum disorder through speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and applied behavior analysis. Applied behavior analysis services shall be provided by an individual certified pursuant to s. 393.17 or an individual licensed under chapter 490 or chapter 491.

(4)  The coverage required pursuant to subsection (3) is subject to the following requirements:

(a)  Coverage shall be limited to treatment that is prescribed by the insured's treating physician in accordance with a treatment plan.

(b)  Coverage for the services described in subsection (3) shall be limited to $36,000 annually and may not exceed $200,000 in total lifetime benefits.

(c)  Coverage may not be denied on the basis that provided services are habilitative in nature.

(d)  Coverage may be subject to other general exclusions and limitations of the insurer's policy or plan, including, but not limited to, coordination of benefits, participating provider requirements, restrictions on services provided by family or household members, and utilization review of health care services, including the review of medical necessity, case management, and other managed care provisions.

(5)  The coverage required pursuant to subsection (3) may not be subject to dollar limits, deductibles, or coinsurance provisions that are less favorable to an insured than the dollar limits, deductibles, or coinsurance provisions that apply to physical illnesses that are generally covered under the health insurance plan, except as otherwise provided in subsection (4).

(6)  An insurer may not deny or refuse to issue coverage for medically necessary services, refuse to contract with, or refuse to renew or reissue or otherwise terminate or restrict coverage for an individual because the individual is diagnosed as having a developmental disability.

(7)  The treatment plan required pursuant to subsection (4) shall include all elements necessary for the health insurance plan to appropriately pay claims. These elements include, but are not limited to, a diagnosis, the proposed treatment by type, the frequency and duration of treatment, the anticipated outcomes stated as goals, the frequency with which the treatment plan will be updated, and the signature of the treating physician.

(8)  Beginning January 1, 2011, the maximum benefit under paragraph (4)(b) shall be adjusted annually on January 1 of each calendar year to reflect any change from the previous year in the medical component of the then current Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor.

(9)  This section may not be construed as limiting benefits and coverage otherwise available to an insured under a health insurance plan.

(10)  The Office of Insurance Regulation may not enforce this section against an insurer that is a signatory no later than April 1, 2009, to the developmental disabilities compact established under s. 624.916. The Office of Insurance Regulation shall enforce this section against an insurer that is a signatory to the compact established under s. 624.916 if the insurer has not complied with the terms of the compact for all health insurance plans by April 1, 2010.

History.--s. 3, ch. 2008-30.

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