Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Report on autism prompts complaint in Tulsa

Published: March 19, 2009

Click here to be linked to the Oklahoman article.

A key proponent of legislation to make insurance companies cover children with autism has filed a complaint against the author of a study that shows the cost of such a mandate could increase rates nearly 20 percent.

Wayne Rohde, who has an 11-year-old son with autism, said Wednesday he filed a complaint against Thomas Cummins of Tulsa, who performed the study for the House of Representatives.

Rohde said he filed the complaint with the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline in Washington, claiming Cummins’ report is misleading and he did not take precautions to keep others from misusing his findings. Rohde said he wants Cummins to publicly retract the study’s findings.

"A lot of the rhetoric coming from the leadership of both chambers is that it’s going to cost too much,” Rohde said.

Cummins, who has been doing actuary studies for the Legislature since 1981, said Wednesday he had no comment on Rohde’s complaint.

His study showed the cost of an insurance mandate would lead to at least a 7.8 percent increase in rates for insured Oklahomans. Rohde said other studies have put the increase at 1 percent or less.

House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, issued a statement saying Cummins’ work "was conducted by a professional actuary who has worked in the field for more than 35 years. He has also performed actuarial studies for all pension legislation for the House and Senate for over two decades.”

A House committee considered Cummins’ study last month when it took up a bill that would require insurance companies to cover children with autism. The bill failed.


Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I'm glad to see the complaint. The data that the actuary used didn't make any sense to me even if every one of the 1 in 150 kids in the state who have autism used the expensive ABA therapy at up to $60K per year or so I couldn't get to the huge increases.
Insurance is expensive. Having bad chest pains can lead to a $50K bill real easy. Just because its expensive should insurance stop covering heart attacks!
Great move filing the complaint. Please keep us posted.

Wayne Rohde said...


We are not done with this guy. Looking at some information that tells us that this guy might have been told what to do.