Legislation aimed at providing more insurance coverage for those with disabilities has been filed by a Missouri lawmaker.
State Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, has filed a two-page bill, aimed at enhancing existing insurance coverage for those with developmental disabilities outside of the autism spectrum.
The Rocheport Republican says those in the spectrum already have insurance coverage from a 2010 state law.
“This will cover other individuals that are not in that diagnosis pool, and I think that’s something that I think we should look at as a society and get these mainly young people the help they need so they can be more productive citizens going forward,” Basye says.
Boone County Family Resources says there are about 64,000 Missouri children under the age of 18, with a disability.
The organization says 28,068 of them have private health insurance coverage, while 37,405 receive Medicaid, which is public health coverage. Another 3,147 have no health insurance coverage.
Basye, who chairs the Missouri House Subcommittee on Quality Care for the Developmentally Disabled, is hopful the General Assembly will pass his bill.
“I’m focusing on the people, the families have insurance coverage but it’s just not quite adequate,” says Basye. “Many of these plans limit the coverage for therapies to 20 (annual) visits and they all go into the same pool.”
These visits include physical therapy and speech.
Basye’s bill would prohibit health carriers from limiting coverage or denying reimbursement for treatment of symptoms and behaviors for individuals with physical or developmental disabilities.
Basye says his brother-in-law has inspired him to file the legislation. Basye tells Missourinet his brother-in-law is blind.
“He’s quite an individual,” Basye says. “I have never heard him complain one time about his obstacles he’s had. And he is quite an inspiration. He’s a very special person to me.”
Basye filed a similar bill in 2017, which received a House committee hearing but no vote. Basye says this year’s version is a “better bill” than last year.
Basye represents parts of Boone, Cooper, Howard and Randolph counties in the Missouri House.
The 2018 legislative session begins January 3 in Jefferson City.
Click here to listen to the full three-minute interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and State Representative Chuck Basye, which was recorded at Basye’s Capitol office in Jefferson City on December 18, 2017: