Navigation Links
Study examines autism law, financial burdens
Date:7/16/2012

While the causes of autism continue to be debated and bandied about, real families who have children with autism spectrum disorders are left to struggle with expensive health care needs. These costs can be devastating - but they can also be markedly different if the family lives in Massachusetts or Maine.

Advocates in many states have lobbied for legislation to force private insurers to offer autism services at the same levels as other covered services. A new study by Susan Parish, the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Disability Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, looks at the effectiveness of these so-called parity laws in reducing families' financial burdens. It was published in the journal "Intellectual and Development Disabilities."

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, parity, as it relates to mental health and substance abuse, prohibits insurers or health care service plans from discriminating between coverage offered for mental illness, serious mental illness, substance abuse, and other physical disorders and diseases. In short, parity requires insurers to provide the same level of benefits for mental illness, serious mental illness or substance abuse as for other physical disorders and diseases. These benefits include visit limits, deductibles, copayments, and lifetime and annual limits.

"We found that families who live in states that have passed parity legislation spent considerably less for their children with autism than families living in states without such legislation," Parish says.

The study examined data from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, which includes a group of more than 2,000 children with autism living across the United States.

Data revealed that more than one-third of the families reported spending more than three percent of their gross annual incomes on services for their children with autism.

"Families raising children with autism incur exceptionally high out-of-pocket costs. These costs pay for things that insurance doesn't fully cover, like therapies and behavior management interventions," says Parish. "These services are often critically important to the well-being and development of children with autism."

Where families live really matters, Parish concluded. Families living in states that had enacted so-called parity legislation had much lower financial burden than families who lived in states without such legislative protections.

Data found that 60 percent of families in Massachusetts, Missouri, and Utah had out-of-pocket in excess of $500 annually. By comparison, 27 percent of Maine families spent above $500 annually. At the time the survey was collected, in 2005, Massachusetts, Missouri and Utah did not have parity legislation, but Maine did. 
Furthermore, these findings were robust. Even after controlling for a host of characteristics including severity of the child's impairment, family income, and state wealth, families' financial burden was much less if they lived in states that had passed parity legislation.

According to the advocacy group Autism Speaks, 30 states currently have enacted some form of legislation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Chaityn Lebovits
lebovits@brandeis.edu
781-736-4027
Brandeis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. Law that regulates shark fishery is too liberal: UBC study
3. New study will help protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
4. Study jointly led by UCSB researcher supports theory of extraterrestrial impact
5. BYU study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesnt make you safer
6. 15-year study: When it comes to creating wetlands, Mother Nature is in charge
7. Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study
8. Crystal structure of archael chromatin clarified in new study
9. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
10. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
11. Study demonstrates cells can acquire new functions through transcriptional regulatory network
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/21/2016)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... been appointed to the new role of principal ... has been named the director of customer development. ... , NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect ... development teams in response to high customer demand ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to ... hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS ... the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, ... proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   ... it has secured $1 million in debt financing from ... to ramp up automation and to advance its drug ... for its new facility. "SVB has been ... goes beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," ...
Breaking Biology Technology: