Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 5. Group Disability Insurance

Coverage Of Autism Spectrum Disorders

33-22-515. Coverage of autism spectrum disorders. (1) Each group disability policy, certificate of insurance, or membership contract that is delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, extended, or modified in this state must provide coverage for diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders for a covered child 18 years of age or younger.

(2) Coverage under this section must be provided to a child who is diagnosed with one of the following disorders as defined by the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:

(a) autistic disorder;

(b) Asperger's disorder; or

(c) pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.

(3) (a) Coverage under this section must include:

(i) habilitative or rehabilitative care that is prescribed, provided, or ordered by a licensed physician or licensed psychologist, including but not limited to professional, counseling, and guidance services and treatment programs that are medically necessary to develop and restore, to the maximum extent practicable, the functioning of the covered child;

(ii) medications prescribed by a physician licensed under Title 37, chapter 3;

(iii) psychiatric or psychological care; and

(iv) therapeutic care that is provided by a speech-language pathologist, audiologist, occupational therapist, or physical therapist licensed in this state.

(b) (i) Habilitative and rehabilitative care includes medically necessary interactive therapies derived from evidence-based research, including applied behavior analysis, which is also known as Lovaas therapy, discrete trial training, pivotal response training, intensive intervention programs, and early intensive behavioral intervention.

(ii) Applied behavior analysis covered under this section must be provided by an individual who is licensed by the behavior analyst certification board or is certified by the department of public health and human services as a family support specialist with an autism endorsement.

(4) (a) Coverage for treatment of autism spectrum disorders under this section may be limited to a maximum benefit of:

(i) $50,000 a year for a child 8 years of age or younger; and

(ii) $20,000 a year for a child 9 years of age through 18 years of age.

(b) Benefits provided under this section may not be construed as limiting physical health benefits that are otherwise available to the covered child.

(5) (a) Coverage under this section may be subject to deductibles, coinsurance, and copayment provisions.

(b) Special deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or other limitations that are not generally applicable to other medical care covered under the plan may not be imposed on the coverage for autism spectrum disorders provided for under this section.

(6) When treatment is expected to require continued services, the insurer may request that the treating physician provide a treatment plan consisting of diagnosis, proposed treatment by type and frequency, the anticipated duration of treatment, the anticipated outcomes stated as goals, and the reasons the treatment is medically necessary. The treatment plan must be based on evidence-based screening criteria. The insurer may ask that the treatment plan be updated every 6 months.

(7) As used in this section, "medically necessary" means any care, treatment, intervention, service, or item that is prescribed, provided, or ordered by a physician or psychologist licensed in this state and that will or is reasonably expected to:

(a) prevent the onset of an illness, condition, injury, or disability;

(b) reduce or improve the physical, mental, or developmental effects of an illness, condition, injury, or disability; or

(c) assist in achieving maximum functional capacity in performing daily activities, taking into account both the functional capacity of the recipient and the functional capacities that are appropriate for a child of the same age.

(8) This section applies to the state employee group insurance program, the university system employee group insurance program, any employee group insurance program of a city, town, school district, or other political subdivision of this state, and any self-funded multiple employer welfare arrangement that is not regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. 1001, et seq.

(9) This section does not apply to disability income, hospital indemnity, medicare supplement, accident-only, vision, dental, specific disease, or long-term care policies.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 359, L. 2009.