Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Autism group disputes claims about state bill's costsRelated Information

By John Greiner
Capitol Bureau
Mandating insurance coverage for autism would have little effect on insurance rates, according to a study released Tuesday by advocates for insurance coverage for children with autism.

The study by James N. Bouder, chief operating officer for a Pennsylvania school created to help children with autism, said rates would increase less than a half percent. The school is Vista School in Hershey, Pa.

The report was released by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, author of "Nick's Law,” which would mandate coverage for autism. This is the latest effort by Gumm, D-Durant, and parents of autistic children to get the House to hear Senate Bill 1537.

Bouder estimated premiums will increase $1.66 per single member per month and $4.59 per family per month if SB 1537 is enacted.

Wayne Rohde of Edmond, whose son Nick is the namesake of Nick's Law, met earlier in the day with House Speaker Chris Benge, who has said Nick's Law will not be brought up this session.

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