At least 10 states specifically require insurers to provide coverage for the treatment of autism (Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas). Of those 10 states, seven states (Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana) require health insurers to cover behavior therapy for autism.
Such therapy can cost as much as $50,000 a year per child. Insurance representatives argue that these state requirements drive up costs. But supporters say therapy works (although studies show mixed results) and can save money in the long run by keeping people out of institutions.
In addition, some states may require limited coverage for autism under their mental health parity or coverage laws. However, these laws vary considerably in how they define mental illness.
AUTISM PREVALENCE, PUBLIC SCHOOLS STATE RANKINGS, 2006-2007 SCHOOL YEAR MINNESOTA 1 OR 81 CHILDREN MAINE 1 OF 87 OREGON 1 OF 88 NEW JERSEY 1 OF 115 INDIANA 1 OF 116 CONNECTICUT 1 OF 123 RHODE ISLAND 1 OF 129 PENNSYLVANIA 1 OF 133 MASSACHUSETTS 1 OF 135 WISCONSIN...