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Autism Research

Now this is the kind of autism research and advocacy we need.

Autism coverage and insurance premiums

Autism insurance coverage at the rate of 20,000 per year would result in an insurance premium increase of $2.18 per month for the average family.

A review/summary of: James N. Bouder, Stuart Spielman, David S. Mandell (2009). Brief Report: Quantifying the Impact of Autism Coverage on Private Insurance Premiums Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0701-z

Health care expenditures for children with autism and other ASD are disproportionally absorbed by families as compared to expenditures for children with other chronic developmental or medical conditions. This is mostly due to the reluctance by many insurance companies to pay for services needed for children with autism. This has led many States in the USA to consider enacting laws mandating insurance companies to cover services for children with ASD. Yet, opponents (mostly the insurance companies) argue that such laws would result in significant increases in insurance premiums for all families.

The current study examined data from Pennsylvania, which requires insurance companies to pay for up to $36,000 per year in services for children with ASDs from birth to the age of 21.

The authors estimated the impact on insurance premiums using a formula that took into account 1) the prevalence of autism, 2) the number of insured children in Pennsylvania, 3) the average medical expenditure for children with ASD, 4)the % of revenues of insurance premiums actually spent on paying for services, and 5)the total revenues obtained by the private insurance companies.

More discussion of this paper at Left Brain/Right Brain where I first read about it.

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