Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread was recognized as a 2018 Executive Champion by Autism Speaks in appreciation of exceptional advocacy on behalf of individuals with autism in North Dakota earlier this month.
Godfread issued a Bulletin to all North Dakota health insurance carriers providing coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder in July notifying them that treatments for autism cannot be excluded from an insurance policy. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act states that insurance companies cannot make it more difficult to receive mental health or substance abuse treatment than it is to receive medical care. The law also says financial requirements, such as deductibles and co-pays, and treatment limitations, such as the number of visits or days of coverage, cannot be more stringent for mental health and substance abuse treatments than they are for medical care. If an insurance carrier chooses to cover autism and seeks to place limitations on autism treatments or benefits, it must demonstrate that a similar limitation exists with the medical portion of their insurance coverage.