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Study: Virginia Benefit for Children with Autism Costs $1.90 per Month per Person

February 02, 2009

Richmond, VA (February 2, 2009) – Autism Speaks released a cost estimate prepared by Oliver Wyman Actuarial Consulting of Virginia House Bill 1588 and Senate Bill 1260.  According to the Wyman actuarial cost estimate, providing health insurance benefits for children with autism would cause premiums to increase by a mere $1.90 per month per covered person.
The legislation pending in the Virginia General Assembly would require certain health insurers to provide benefits of up to $36,000 per year for children with autism.  Today one out of every 150 people has some form of autism spectrum disorder.  A wide range of therapies can be provided to children with autism depending upon the severity of the disorder. 
The Wyman report found that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – an intensive therapy for children with severe forms of autism – was responsible for most of the $1.90 per month premium increase.  Both the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatricians have endorsed ABA as a highly effective medical therapy for many children.
Oliver Wyman Actuarial Consulting, Inc. is part of the Marsh & McLennan family of companies.  With over 60 members of the American Academy of Actuaries, Oliver Wyman is one of the largest actuarial practices in North America.  Oliver Wyman’s health practice, which has twelve credentialed actuaries, advises insurers, regulators, governments, interest groups, and others.