Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 2054

       S.D. 2




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Seventh State Legislature

Regular Session of 2014

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 2054, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to require insurers, mutual benefit societies, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders up to a maximum benefit of $50,000 per year and $300,000 per lifetime, with adjustments for inflation.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Health Special Education Advisory Council, Unite HERE Local 5 Hawaii, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Hawaii Medical Association, Hawaii Disability Rights Center, Autism Speaks, and fifteen individuals.  Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Medical Service Association and Hawaii Association of Health Plans.  Written comments were submitted by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Department of Human Services, and two individuals.


     Your Committee finds that applied behavior analysis is an effective and medically necessary treatment for autism that is supported by many organizations, including the United States Surgeon General, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Autism Society of America.  However, many families with autistic children cannot afford the treatments.  Your Committee finds that requiring health insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder treatments will provide children and adults with access to necessary treatments, without unduly burdening families with significantly increased health care costs.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)  Specifying that the index to be used to adjust the maximum benefit for inflation is the Consumer Price Index for urban Honolulu;


(2)  Removing the requirement that insurers include as many board certified behavior analysts in their provider network as there are qualified licensed psychologists in their network of approved providers of applied behavior analysis;


(3)  Correcting the term "board certified behavior analyst;" and


(4)  Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of style, clarity, and consistency.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2054, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2054, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,