The Truth about Autism Medical Insurance Coverage

October 13th, 2010
The Truth about Autism Medical Insurance Coverage

From autism summits to forums for autism care providers, to charity events and awareness rallies, parents of autistic children in the U.S. are raising awareness to the growing number of children afflicted with this illness while advocating for insurance coverage.

According to a study entitled “The Lifetime Distribution of the Incremental Societal Costs of Autism”, people with autism spend nearly $634,000 in medical costs with 60 percent of those costs staring after the age of 21. A typical American spends half that figure, about $317,000 over his or her lifetime, with the majority of the costs occurring after the age of 65.

It is estimated that treating a child with autism costs $81,900 a year. The fee is broken down like this: $11,250 for speech therapy, $11,250 for occupational therapy and $54,900 for behavioral analysis and therapy.

Parents, guardians and family members of children with autism are hoping to call awareness to the fact that autism specialists are very rarely covered on insurance policies, leaving families to fend for themselves. With the fate of the U.S.’s health care on the brink of reform or reversal, families with autistic children are left to wonder if their child will benefit more from a structured socialized medicine or if it would be more beneficial to continue lobbying for reform in the insurance industry.

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