Study Sees Big Cost To Autism Mandate

Thursday, January 8th 2009, 8:07 am
By: News On 6

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A study shows an autism insurance mandate would lead to at least a 7.8 percent increase in rates for insured Oklahomans.

The report was made by Thomas Cummins, an actuary used by the state House and state Senate. It suggests the rate increase could be as high as 19.8 percent.

House Speaker Chris Benge, a Tulsa Republican, says the report shows a proposed autism mandate could lead to more Oklahomans not having health insurance.

Related story: 12/29/2008  Blue Cross To Add Autism Benefit

Sen. John Gumm, a Durant Democrat, says such an increase has not been experienced in other states that require autism coverage.

He presented a report last year quoting an actuary as saying autism coverage increase rates by less than half of 1 percent.