Missouri Finds 'Negligible' Cost Impact for Autism Insurance Benefits
JEFFERSON CITY (February 5, 2013) -- A Missouri state agency has found that the state's 2010 autism insurance reform law fully ramped up in 2012, yet still produced "negligible" impact on the state's overall health costs. The $6.6 million for autism benefits represented 0.16 percent of total health claims, a fraction of the 3 percent impact insurance lobbyists had warned when fighting the bill in the legislature.
The findings were contained in the second annual report on the 2010 insurance law submitted by the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration (DIFP) to the Legislature as required under the law.
"Missouri's new landmark autism insurance law continues to deliver benefits for families impacted by autism," said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "Especially encouraging is the extremely low impact on overall health insurance claims."
The first annual report reflected the fact that 2011 was "a transitional year during which much of the infrastructure necessary to deliver the mandated benefits was developed," DIFP reported. "As expected, data show that the benefits of the mandate were more fully realized in 2012, while the costs as a percent of overall health care costs remained negligible."