Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 668

       S.D. 1




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Seventh State Legislature

Regular Session of 2013

State of Hawaii




     Your Committees on Health and Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred S.B. No. 668 entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to require coverage of and treatment for autism spectrum disorders.


     Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Hawaii Medical Association, Special Education Advisory Council, Community Children's Council of Hawaii, Family Voices of Hawaii, Hawaii Disability Rights Center, Community Alliance for Mental Health, Hawaii Autism Foundation, and twenty-five individuals.  Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Health, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and Autism Behavior Consulting Group, Inc.


     Your Committees find that autism spectrum disorders are affecting more children every year.  Your Committees also find that many families in the State are unable to receive treatment and services for their children with autism spectrum disorders because their insurance policies do not provide coverage for these disorders.  Your Committees further find that requiring coverage for autism spectrum disorders in every health insurance policy issued in the State will allow families with children with autism spectrum disorders to receive critical treatments and services. 

     Your Committees find that the Insurance Commissioner will be responsible for publishing the adjusted maximum benefit annually.  Your Committees further find that because the maximum benefit will be established in the Hawaii Revised Statutes, any changes to the maximum benefit should be made by amending the appropriate statutes and should not be made by the Insurance Commissioner without public comment.  Your Committees note that the addition of a new mandated coverage may trigger section 1311(d)(3) of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires states to defray the additional cost of any benefits in excess of the essential health benefits of the State's qualified health plan.


     Your Committees have amended this measure by:


     (1)  Specifying that the accident and health or sickness insurance policies and hospital or medical service plans covered by this measure are individual and group policies and plans;


     (2)  Inserting a maximum lifetime benefit of $300,000 for an individual to receive behavioral health treatment;


     (3)  Including social workers in the definition of "treatment for autism spectrum disorders" as professionals qualified to diagnose autism spectrum disorders;


     (4)  Inserting an effective date of January 1, 2030, to encourage further discussion; and


     (5)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Health and Commerce and Consumer Protection that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 668, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 668, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Health and Commerce and Consumer Protection,