Insurance companies pay for autism treatments in Missouri

Thursday, February 2, 2012 | 7:59 a.m. CST; updated 10:00 a.m. CST, Thursday, February 2, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's insurance department said nearly 4,000 residents received autism treatments that were covered by their health insurance plans last year.

The department said Wednesday that insurance companies covered about $4.3 million in autism-related treatments in 2011. A state law that took effect in January 2011 requires health insurance companies to cover certain autism treatments, such as behavioral analyses.

Missouri Department of Insurance Director John Huff said the new law did not significantly increase health insurance premiums or health care costs in Missouri.

The department says the average cost for autism treatments is about $143 per month.

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