By Ellen Moran
UMass Medical School’s autism insurance expert spoke to Stateline about access to coverage for autism services and supports in Massachusetts. The PEW Charitable Trusts news service reported Feb. 19 that autism insurance coverage varies across the 44 states in which it is required.
Massachusetts law includes small businesses and individual plans and there are no caps, said Amy K. Weinstock, director of the Autism Insurance Resource Center at UMass Medical School. In addition to the mandated coverage, 62 percent of people working for companies that insure their own workers and are not subject to Massachusetts law, have autism coverage because their employers choose to offer it, Weinstock said. Massachusetts is one of four states that require coverage of the treatments with no limits on age, cost or frequency, according to the article.
Weinstock told Stateline premiums have not increased much in Massachusetts. An Act Relative to Insurance Coverage for Autism (ARICA), also known as the Massachusetts Autism Insurance Law, allows insurers to opt out if premiums go up by more than 1 percent, but Weinstock said that isn’t happening.
The Autism Insurance Resource Center is within UMass Medical School’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center.