NEW YORK, NY (October 8, 2010) Autism Speaks, the nations largest autism science and advocacy organization, announced today that the impact of Amended House Bill 8 on health insurance premiums in Ohio is projected to be a mere one-half of one-percent (0.51% or $1.57 per member per month.) This projection is the result of an independent actuarial analysis prepared by Oliver Wyman, one of the largest actuarial practices in North America.
While the analysis focused primarily on estimating the insured costs of mandated medical benefits, Oliver Wyman also summarized information related to the lifetime costs of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), which include the costs associated with medical services, education, custodial care and the lost productivity and wages of individuals affected by ASDs, as well as their family caregivers. Based on the results of several studies, Oliver Wyman determined that the costs of the applied behavior analysis treatments covered under Amended HB 8 could be recovered through reductions in educational and medical expenditures, alone.
Amended House Bill 8 would require insurance companies to end discriminatory practices and provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary behavioral autism therapies for individuals in Ohio with an autism spectrum disorder. It was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives in December, 2009 and now awaits passage by the Ohio Senate. Twenty three states have already enacted autism insurance reform measures, and legislation in New York awaits the governors signature.
For about the price of a cup of coffee, families in Ohio will at long last have health insurance coverage for autism treatment prescribed by their physicians, said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks executive vice president of programs and services. Families in Ohio are literally going broke trying to give their loved ones with autism the therapies they need to meet their full potential.
In many states, insurers explicitly exclude coverage of these therapies from policies, which places a significant financial burden on families seeking to provide their children with necessary services. ABA therapies alone may cost upward of $50,000 a year.
Thousands of Ohio families will gather on Sunday, October 10th at the Value City Arena at The Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus to walk in support of Autism Speaks and its initiatives. While there, they will also be rallying in support of Amended House Bill 8, calling upon the Ohio Senate to pass this critical legislation before the end of the year.
> Read the full cost analysis of HB 8