An autism mandate bill for Missouri health insurance was passed by the legislature just prior to the conclusion of the current session last week. It is now on its way to the desk of Governor Jay Nixon, who has spoken publicly in support of the measure. Effective with all policies renewed or delivered on or after January 1, 2011, coverage of autism disorder treatment would be mandated for children through age 18 and capped at $40,000 annually; coverage may exceed that amount with approval of the health plan. The coverage limit would be raised every three years per the consumer pricing index. Small employers can ask for a waiver if their costs exceed 2.5 percent of total claims in a year.