HB 3986

84(R) - 2015
House Insurance
House Insurance

Vote Recommendation

  • Negative
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Ron Simmons

Bill Caption

Relating to coverage by certain health benefit plans for certain services prescribed to treat autism spectrum disorder.

Fiscal Notes

Based on information provided by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), the bill could result in 200 additional filings.  The fee for each additional filing is $100, which would result in a one-time revenue gain $20,000 to be deposited to General Revenue-Dedicated Texas Department of Insurance Fund 36 (Fund 36). Since Fund 36 is a self-leveling account, this analysis also assumes that any additional revenue resulting from the implementation of the bill would accumulate in account fund balances and that TDI would adjust the assessment of the maintenance tax or other fees accordingly in the following year.

Additionally, based on information provided by TDI, Teacher Retirement System, Employees Retirement System, Texas A&M University System Administration, and UT System Administration, it is assumed that all duties and responsibilities necessary to implement the provisions of the bill could be accomplished within existing resources.

According to the Teacher Retirement System, the provisions of the bill could result in a cost of $7.0 million annually for the TRS-ActiveCare program, a health benefit plan available to employees of public school districts and charter schools. Increased program costs would be passed along through plan design changes or increased premiums paid by school districts or participating employees. The level of increase may vary by the employee's plan choice within TRS-ActiveCare.

Bill Analysis

Current law requires a health benefit plan to provide coverage to an enrollee for all generally recognized services prescribed in relation to autism spectrum disorder by the enrolleeā€™s primary care physician in the treatment plan recommended by that physician. The generally recognized services currently include:

  • Evaluation and assessment services;
  • Applied behavior analysis;
  • Behavior training and behavior management;
  • Speech therapy;
  • Occupational therapy;
  • Physical therapy; or
  • Medications or nutritional supplements used to address symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

The bill would expand the generally recognized services to incorporate recreational therapy.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Our issue with HB 3986 is that it would expand minimum health coverage requirements.

This legislation represents yet another example of the government interfering with private businesses. The high cost of health care and health insurance is partly the result of government interference in the form of mandates. Every time the government tinkers with the system to take choices away from providers and patients, costs tend to rise.

Creating new state mandates on private enterprise abridges our limited government and free market principles. Therefore, we oppose HB 3986.

It is worth noting that Texas has one of the highest number of insurance mandates in the U.S.

Organizations Opposed

Texas Association of Business